Discusses key economics indicators and trade statistics, which countries are dominant in the market, the U.S. market share, the political situation if relevant, the top reasons why U.S. companies should consider exporting to this country, and other issues that affect trade, e.g., terrorism, currency devaluations, trade agreements.
Last Published: 9/15/2017
Zimbabwe generally ranks poorly in global comparisons of economic competitiveness. In the World Bank’s "Doing Business" rankings for 2016, Zimbabwe ranked 155 out of 189.

The government of Zimbabwe estimates that the economy grew by 0.6 percent in 2016 and projects real economic growth to rise to 3.7 percent in 2016 primarily due to a rebound in agriculture following a season of favorable rains.  The government does not expect to import food for the 2017/18 marketing season.

Zimbabwe’s exports continue to fall far below imports resulting in large trade deficits which, along with declining remittances, have led to a widening current account deficit.

Although the 2009 adoption of the multicurrency monetary regime, under which the U.S. dollar dominates business transactions, brought stability and restored business confidence, the recent introduction of the surrogate currency known as “bond notes” has reintroduced uncertainties within the economy.  The poor performance of public finances in recent years with expenditures exceeding revenues has resulted in a widening budget deficit.  The government has resorted to borrowing on the domestic market to fund the deficit through issuance of treasury bills, which has crowded out the private sector and undermined local investment.

Until recently, Zimbabwe experienced persistent deflation with year-on-year consumer price index falling by 0.9 percent at the end of 2016.  By February 2017, however, the year-on-year consumer price index rose by 0.1 percent while the month-on-month rate rose much quicker by 0.6 percent.  While this should improve competitiveness over time, the government needs to implement measures designed to improve productivity.

Zimbabwe’s desire to re-engage the international community by paying off arrears to the preferred creditors did not succeed.  After the country paid off arrears owed to the IMF, it failed to raise resources to pay arrears owed to the African Development Bank and the World Bank as agreed to in Lima on the sidelines of the World Bank and IMF spring meetings in 2015.


Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.

Zimbabwe Trade Development and Promotion