Zimbabwean firms to get export insurance

(All Africa News, Harare, 2 September 2015) The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) is discussing with banks an insurance package for exports, as it moves to tackle a high political risk premium that has affected international trade. Zimbabwe's import bill has been rising while exports have been retreating, fuelling a widening trade deficit estimated at over US$700 million in the first quarter of 2015. Industry and Commerce Minister, Mike Bimha, said the RBZ had agreed to mobilise funding, estimated at not less than US$7,5 million, for the country to join the African Trade Insurance agency (ATI), which was set up by the Common Market for Eastern and South Africa (COMESA) to cover exports. Launched in 2001, ATI has supported over US$13 billion worth of trade and investment across Africa, and government says joining the agency would open doors to more markets for local products. Meanwhile, a delegation from the China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation was in Zimbabwe from September 21-25 to facilitate insurance cover on loan facilities extended to Zimbabwe's companies by Chinese banks.