The Sunday News
Dumisani Nsingo, Senior Business Reporter
ZIMTRADE is in the process of engaging the business community and provincial leaders with a view of establishing export clusters through utilisation and harnessing of resources within their locality in a bid to enhance their contribution towards the growth of the country’s economy.
In a statement, ZimTrade said it was working with provincial leaders across the country to establish viable export clusters in each province so as to develop and enhance their export capacities.
“ZimTrade has started engaging Provincial Ministers and businesses, on an array of activities that are expected to inculcate an exporting culture among businesses in their provinces. The current engagement drive with provincial leaderships is expected to culminate in identification of viable export products and services to be developed as well as create stronger linkages between established exporters and small and medium enterprises (SMEs),” said ZimTrade.
The trade promotion body said the incorporation of small-scale players was aimed at facilitating their participation in the regional and global value-chains while assisting them to understand the international standards of doing business and exports.
The development of provincial export clusters is in-line with a clarion call made by President Mnangagwa at a ZimTrade Exporters’ Conference last year when he directed all provinces to work with the country’s trade development and promotion body to develop their export business plans based on areas of comparative advantage. The establishment of the provincial export clusters is also in line with the devolution agenda.
“The closer engagements with leadership from all provinces are also in line with Government’s devolution drive and the National Export Strategy, which places emphasis on the need for both the public and private sectors to synergise efforts and collectively take appropriate steps to boost the country’s exports,” said ZimTrade.
The organisation said to ensure the successful implementation of the export clusters each province would specialise in the production of products or offering services within its area.
“With regards to operational aspects of the clusters, the plan is to ensure that provinces can specialise on production of specific products that they have a comparative advantage on, riding upon product experience, ecological endowments and established infrastructure accruing to the province. To achieve this, ZimTrade will work with provinces in capacity development of their businesses, focusing on technical skills, market information and standardisation. Going forward, provinces are expected to tap into or increase their competitiveness by focusing on niche products or services,” said ZimTrade.
A number of activities would also be undertaken to develop viable value chains that would facilitate import substitution while increasing exports of value-added goods. ZimTrade also said plans were underway to capacitate businesses after the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
“There are also plans to capacitate and develop local companies in all provinces so that they are adequately prepared to address challenges posed by Covid-19 and also take advantage of the emerging opportunities. This will ensure that local provincial businesses participate effectively in the national, regional, and international value chains,” it said. – @DNsingo