Zimbabwe has ratified an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the United Kingdom in a deal expected to promote reciprocal trade concessions between Harare and London.Quoting Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Sibusiso Moyo, the official Herald daily said on Wednesday that the EPA would provide Zimbabwean exporters tariff- and quota-free access to the UK market.
“This is a huge step for Zimbabwe’s re-engagement efforts. The signing of this partnership will undoubtedly bring increased trade and investment to Zimbabwe,” Moyo is quoted as saying.
UK ambassador to Zimbabwe, Melanie Robinson welcomed Zimbabwe’s decision to ratify the EPA.
“Glad Zimbabwe has ratified the Economic Partnership Agreement with the UK. This ensures that exporters continue to enjoy tariff and quota free access to the UK market,” she said.
The signing of the agreement come as the Zimbabwe government is trying to re-engage Western countries following more than two decades of acrimony in the aftermath of Harare’s controversial land reform programme that saw thousands of white commercial farmers being ejected from their farms since 2000.
The pact also comes as the UK is trying to establish new economic partnerships following its withdrawal from the European Union.
Zimbabwe becomes the latest southern African country to sign the EPA with the UK following similar moves by South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Eswatini, Lesotho and Mozambique last year.