Commercial implications of the current situation in Zimbabwe

"Once hailed as a leader of liberation and the bread basket of the subcontinent, the southern African country of Zimbabwe is currently besieged with economic and political strife. Per capita income has fallen, as have levels of health and life expectancy. Some 60% of Zimbabweans now live below the poverty line, while economic growth in the country has dropped to 1%. Discontent in the country is widespread. Throughout the second half of 1998, the government faced urban food riots over food price rises. A 50% inflation rate, a 50% drop in the value of the Zimbabwean dollar and a 67% increase in the price of petrol, have fueled further dissatisfaction. Economic decline has exagerbated the country's political malaise: corruption and cronyism, coupled with human rights abuses and controls over civil and political liberties, has led to domestic and international criticism of President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF dominated government."