The Sunday News
Rutendo Nyeve, Business Reporter
TRADE development and promotion organisation, ZimTrade has stepped up efforts towards preparing the nation for the African Continental Free Trade Area as well as other global opportunities through various initiatives that include campaigns, trainings and market researches.
This was revealed by ZimTrade chief executive officer Mr Allan Majuru on the sidelines of 2023 National Budget Consultations at a Bulawayo hotel on Thursday.
Various industry players converged to reflect on the gains of the past year, and deliberate over the best course of action to take over the next financial year in order to reach national export targets.
Collective stakeholder efforts to date have seen the nation recording wins over the past months which have put the country on the path to meeting some of the targets as outlined in the National Development Strategy 1.
With Vision 2030 envisaging high volumes of exports that are targeted at US$14 billion by 2030, Mr Majuru said his organisation continues to undertake various measures to ensure the target is achieved.
“Over the past year, as ZimTrade we took time to investigate new markets as part of efforts to expand the presence of Zimbabwean products globally.
We carried out market surveys in Ghana, Kenya and Senegal, where we identified opportunities for our exporters to tap into.
“Through various dissemination events, we shared the findings with exporters and exporters in waiting, with the confidence that this would translate to significant business being realised in those markets,” said Mr Majuru.
He said in a bid to satisfy the demands of new and existing markets, the organisation also carried out various export development programmes tailored to meet the needs of emerging exporters.
“Our flagship training programme, the Marketing and Branding for International Competitiveness (MBIC), saw even more SMEs being trained this year, while the Eagles Nest Youth Export Incubator programme entered its second season with a new crop of 50 youth-led enterprises being empowered.
“We also launched a new programme called NEXT She Exporter, targeted at women owned businesses in line with the organisation’s strategy for inclusive development,” said Mr Majuru.
He said such efforts were purposeful as they prepared the nation to trade under AfCFTA, where the market will open and pit the nation up against neighbouring countries in competing for export markets within the continent.
Meanwhile, the country’s trade promotion body also intensified export promotion campaigns through participating in carefully selected key trade events around the globe that exposed Zimbabwean products to targeted buyers in specific markets.
“The country’s participation in events such as MacFruit held in Italy, Fruit Logistica in Germany, Dubai Expo 2020, Africa Pacific Leather Fair (APLF) also in Dubai, Zambia Agriculture and Commercial Show (ZACS), Maputo International Fair (FACIM), Birmingham Autumn Fair, all served to connect our manufacturers and producers with international buyers to boost export trade.
“A case in point is that our exports to United Arab Emirates have grown from US$148 million in 2015 to US$1.7 billion in 2021 owing to the various export promotion efforts to that country,” said Mr Majuru.
The budget consultation meeting informed the trade promotion body on financial resource allocation to exports by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development as well as refined efforts to promote trade through deliberations. -@nyeve14