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Mnangagwa commends ZimTrade, BITC trade collaboration

by Staff reporter
29 Feb 2020 at 07:16hrs | Views
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has commended increased collaboration between the country's trade development and promotion agency, ZimTrade and the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC), which has unlocked potential for trade and industrial synergies.

Speaking here during a state banquet organised in his honour by Botswana President Dr Mokgweetsi Eric Masisi on Thursday, the President said the 2nd Session of the Bi-National Commission between Botswana and Zimbabwe has afforded the two bodies increased scope to pursue more ways of enhancing trade.

Zimbabwe and Botswana share a common desire for improved economic cooperation for the benefit of respective citizens.

"I commend the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) for its ongoing engagements with their Zimbabwe counterparts ZimTrade. I am optimistic that such relations will yield tangible results and increased trade volumes between our two economies, leveraging on our respective resource endowments and comparative advantages," said President Mnangagwa.

Zimbabwe and Botswana have a bilateral trade agreement that was reviewed in 2010 and offers duty free trade on goods that meet the rules of origin.

This means the country has a comparative advantage in exporting fresh produce and fast moving consumer goods to Botswana based on the fact that its manufacturing base is more developed. There is growing interest by Botswana and Zimbabwean companies in fostering synergies in key sectors such as clothing, leather and technical skills development.

As such, President Mnangagwa said it was pleasing that following the inaugural Session of our Bi-National Commission held in Harare in February 2019, a business forum was convened between private sector players from both countries on the sidelines of the 2019 edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Bulawayo.

Similarly, on Thursday, ZimTrade and BITC also organised a sideline business conference here in Maun, which had over 60 private companies from Zimbabwe and Botswana attending, ZimTrade chief executive officer, Mr Allan Majuru said.

"One key issue was the need for us as Zimbabwe to enhance our export competitiveness so as for our goods to outcompete our competitors from the neighbouring countries. Our trade with Botswana is not that significant but with our proximity we can use that to our advantage to tap into the market," he said in an interview.

"ZimTrade and BITC signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2018, which has culminated in a number of business to business missions happening outside the realms of the BNC Business forum.

"We as ZimTrade have over the years facilitated manufacturers to participate at the Botswana Global Expo and BITC has reciprocated by attending the ZITF."

In that regard, President Mnangagwa said his Government was determined to stay the course towards economic recovery and growth by continuing to improve the country`s macro-economic environment through an accelerated implementation of a raft of economic, political and legislative reforms.

"We are convinced that an economically prosperous, peaceful and united Zimbabwe is good for our people and all our neighbours in Sadc and the continent as a whole," he said.

President Mnangagwa also reaffirmed Zimbabwe's commitment to the African Union's Agenda 2063 and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, which he described as one of the continent's flagship projects. Zimbabwe announced its unreserved commitment to be part of the continental free trade area during the recent 33rd Ordinary Session of the African Union held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  

The country further acceded to the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), as a show of determination to continue to promote peace, democracy, responsive governance, unity and social cohesion through dialogue and the sharing of best practices with counterparts on the continent.

Source - chronicle