A vendor selling his wares

ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes: Trade:Domestic Trade in Zimbabwe

  • Zimbabwe’s internal trade (domestic trade) is controlled by processing, manufacturing and marketing of agro-based products.
  • The flow of goods starts with the producer of raw materials, through to marketing boards, to manufacture, to wholesalers and retailers and then to consumer.
  • Due to this agro-based nature, the supply of goods, especially foodstuffs, on the local market is affected by drought cycles and other climatic hazards.
  • The immediate impact of the fast track land redistribution exercise has seen a significant decline in the supply of agricultural products on the domestic market.
  • Internal trade is hindered in the fact that the majority of the people are subsistence farmers with little disposable income.
  • Informal traders are becoming an important part of this trade as is evidenced by the ever increasing number of open air vendors.
  • Foreign trade involves export and imports of goods.
  • South Africa has and is still Zimbabwe’s largest regional trading partner for historical reasons as well as geographical proximity.
  • Other important trading partners for Zimbabwe include the European Union countries, SADC and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) countries.
  • International trade is mostly influenced by political relations between countries, therefore Zimbabwe is trying to diversify its international trade by looking for new markets in South East Asia, the Middle East and Libya.
  • Zimbabwe’s exports are dominated by agricultural products such as tobacco, meat products and sugar.
  • Mineral such as ferro-chrome, gold and asbestos are also export products.
  • The country’s exports are mainly low value goods.
  • In return the country imports manufactured goods, petroleum products, machinery, chemicals and textiles.
  • These imports are of very high value and this results in a negative balance of payments.

To access more topics go to the O Level Geography Notes page