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Maximise on regional protocols to grow trade'

by Staff reporter
05 Nov 2021 at 06:40hrs | Views
LOCAL businesses should capitalise on regional trading protocols to which Zimbabwe is a signatory to expand their export market and grow foreign currency earnings, ZimTrade chief executive officer, Mr Allan Majuru, has said.

Zimbabwe is a member of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) blocs and has entered into a number of bilateral treaties with neighbouring states that facilitate trading advantages.

The country is also a signatory to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which came into force in January this year and offers preferential market access to qualifying products and services.

Speaking at a recent ZimTrade organised Mozambique buyer mission held in Harare, Mr Mujuru said Zimbabwean companies stand a huge chance to boost trade following close interaction with potential buyers from Mozambique.

"There is need to capitalise on the proximity of the two countries to increase trade therein. Companies in both countries are encouraged to take advantage of the Sadc trade protocols, the Zimbabwe-Mozambique bilateral trade agreement and the AfCFTA that offers preferential market access to qualifying products and services," he said.
Mr Mujuru went on to explain that there are more benefits to be gained by local businesses through trading under AfCFTA.

"There are enormous business opportunities for the Pan-African private sector, small and medium enterprises, women and youth as the continent takes this bold move towards boosting intra-African trade," he said.

Regarding the Mozambique market in particular, Mr Mujuru said Zimbabwean companies have a vast market opportunity if they explore the neighbouring country as this was shown by the survey done by ZimTrade last year in Maputo province.

The market survey found out that Mozambique imports goods like building material, processed foods and agricultural inputs, which Zimbabwean manufacturers have potential to supply.

"Mozambique heavily depends on imports for most of its good's category," said Mr Mujuru. "Mozambique's fast moving consumer goods sector is dominated by international brands, which include South Africa, Portugal, Brazil and United Arab Emirates.

"Therefore, Zimbabwean products have opportunities especially in the middle and northern provinces where the prices are between 20-30 percent more expensive compared to the southern provinces," he said.

In its latest newsletter for October 2021, ZimTrade has also urged Zimbabwean manufacturers to establish real estate investments where by retailers could construct shopping malls in Mozambique.

"Real estate investments will help retailers as they will have solid grounding in Mozambique," said the trade agency.

It noted that Mozambique has vast opportunity in the agriculture sector where by Zimbabwean manufacturers can supply farming equipment, agriculture seeds, chemicals and even skills, services and technical partner support.

"Farming in Mozambique is mainly communal and subsistence, the majority do not use fertilisers and chemicals. So, Zimbabwe can supply the buyers with agriculture skills and quality seeds so that they improve their yield," said ZimTrade.

The improvement of export is the main focus by Zimbabwe and this will help to boost the country's gross domestic product hence promoting national development strategy, which will lead to the attainment of an upper middle-income economy vision by 2030.

Source - The Chronicle