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Zimbabwe – BRICS Multilateral Trade Shoots Up as Harare Looks To Join  

Zimbabwe maintains good relations with all BRICS member countries and it is edging closer to joining the grouping, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa said as he returned home from the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

Mnangagwa said that “Zimbabwe is edging closer to joining the BRICS economic bloc. Our good relations with members will enhance chances of being admitted into the emerging global financial order. On joining BRICS, I discussed that issue with President Putin, telling him that it is our desire to join the bloc. I also had earlier on discussed it with our neighbor, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa. The prospects are good because none of the BRICS members are anti-Zimbabwe.” Mnangagwa also described relations with China and Brazil as excellent.

According to Mnangagwa, BRICS membership could provide the landlocked South African country with access to new markets, investment and technology. At their meeting, the presidents of Russia and Zimbabwe discussed enhancing cooperation and trade.

We discussed Russia-Zimbabwe 2024 trade and development in this article here.

Zimbabwe has a population of about 17 million and a GDP (PPP) of about US$45 billion. Its economy is based on a gold standard, with agriculture and mining the main exports. The country has reserves of metallurgical-grade chromite, as well as commercial mineral deposits such as coal, asbestos, copper, nickel, gold, platinum and iron ore. Russia’s trade interests lie in fertilizers, with Mnangagwa stating that Zimbabwe’s 2024 crops were expected to reach record highs due to imports from Russia. The two sides are also collaborating in nuclear energy developments for the Zimbabwean national grid.

In terms of the BRICS group, Zimbabwe’s trade with the other members is as follows:

CountryTrade Agreement 2023 Bilateral Trade (USD millions) Growth Rate
BrazilYes 10.2 18%
ChinaYes  3,120.0   29.9%
EgyptYes15.1 10%
IranMOU  5.2 5%
RussiaYes 80.3320%*
South AfricaYes 3,620.0 13.4%**
(Sources: National media, OEC)

*Russia’s bilateral trade with Zimbabwe in 2022 was just US$24.5 million in 2022.
** South Africa is Zimbabwe’s largest trade partner, followed by China.         

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Russia & Africa 2024

Our 2024 Russia’s Pivot To Asia Guide features comprehensive discussions on Russia’s relationship with numerous African nations. It is a complimentary download and can be accessed in English here and Russian here.

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