Zimbabwe financial services among most restricted in Africa – UNCTAD report

Zimbabwe financial services among most restricted in Africa – UNCTAD report

HARARE, July 10 (The Source) – Zimbabwe is among the most restrictive African countries in the trade of financial services with policy and regulatory shortcomings inhibiting the growth of the services sector in the southern-African country, a United Nations report has shown.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) 2015 economic development report indicates that the restrictiveness of trade in financial services varies widely among African countries and is highest in Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Egypt.

Zambia, Mauritius and Morocco are among the countries  with most open services trade regimes in the world.

“While there are several impediments to financial services trade on the continent, Africa appears on average to be less restrictive than other developing regions,” reads the report.

Africa is a marginal player in global services trade, accounting for 2.2 percent of global services exports and four percent of services imports.

“The report requires Zimbabwe to conduct a self introspection and compare herself with other countries in terms of performance of the services sector as well as policy differences,” said Economic Planning and Investment promotion Minister Simon Khaya Moyo who launched the report on Thursday.

The services sector in both developed and developing is growing in importance and share as most countries turn away from manufacturing and agriculture sectors, with growth in the services sector widely becoming accepted as an indicator of economic progress.

Between 2009 and 2012 the services sector  reportedly accounted for 32 percent of total employment in Africa.