The Sunday News
Judith Phiri, Business Reporter
THE country’s trade development and promotion agency, ZimTrade says Government’s re-engagement efforts, coupled with trade initiatives driven by related institutions and stakeholders, has created a promising outlook for Zimbabwean exports in 2023.
In its January newsletter, ZimTrade said when President Mnangagwa launched the Zimbabwe National Trade Policy and the National Strategy (2019-2023), it was premised on the need to grow exports through market and product diversification.
“This has been paying off as statistics show that exports have seen a 9.2 percent increase from US$5.4 billion in Jan-November 2021 to US$5.9 billion in the same period in 2022. This boost in exports can be attributed to the various efforts made by the Government, along with related agencies like ZimTrade, which are facilitating export development and export promotional activities such as outward missions and trade-fair participation,” read part of the newsletter.
It said these activities have raised the profile of Zimbabwean products and generated interest from markets around the world. The trade development and promotion agency said with the current positive trend in export growth, businesses across Zimbabwe can take advantage and expand their products into traditional and non-traditional markets.
“Already, the need to diversify export markets has seen an acceleration of trade promotion activities to emerging market, such as a series of Business Forums held in 2022 between Zimbabwean companies and potential partners from countries such as United Arab Emirates (UAE), Rwanda, Malawi and Democratic Republic of Congo,” said ZimTrade.
It said results from these activities show that Zimbabwean companies are benefiting through export growth. For example, ZimTrade said exports to UAE increased from US$1.47 billion between January-November 2021 to US$1.96 billion during the same period in 2022.
The trade development and promotion agency said: “With the continued demand for organic and fresh produce in countries like Europe and the Middle East, there is a great potential for Zimbabwe to expand their exports, with a high likelihood of surpassing the US$7 billion-dollar mark in 2023.”
It said the continued interest in the market for Zimbabwean goods, has encouraged further market surveys in the Middle-East, as this year, ZimTrade will be conducting a market scan in Saudi Arabia, to explore more export opportunities for local products in the Middle- East.
ZimTrade said with a goal of achieving continued export growth, Zimbabwe will be accelerating activities to foster trade and broaden the availability of its products to different markets like China, Malaysia and Egypt, only to mention a few.
“For example, China, as a net importer and boasting a sizable population is becoming one of Zimbabwe’s top export destinations, already ranking as the third-largest exporter of Zimbabwean goods. In 2022, a citrus protocol was signed between the two countries, giving local companies access to export citrus to China, one of the biggest consumers of citrus products,” read part of the newsletter.
“This year, Zimbabwe is taking advantage of this relationship and working to maximize this opening and capitalize on mutually beneficial trade opportunities. ZimTrade, in conjunction with partners such as the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency, and Zimbabwe Tourism Authority will be organising a Zimbabwe China Business Forum which will focus on promoting Zimbabwe’s trade, tourism, and investment opportunities.”