The Sunday News
Ngonidzashe Chiutsi Business Correspondent
AT least 20 companies will have the prospect to explore the European market in a move meant to expose local businesses to new modern technologies and new markets for the local industry.The trade mission will be led by the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce and has been slated for the first quarter of the year.
In an interview with Sunday Business last week, ZNCC’s Bulawayo chapter chairperson, Mr Crispen Mugova, said the visit was inspired by Europe’s interest in trading with Zimbabwe and preparations for the trade mission were under way.
“At the moment we are still doing the logistics of the mission and by the end of this month, we would have done all the logistical work,” said Mr Mugova.
Speaking on the objectives of the trade mission, Mr Mugova said the intention was to identify new markets for the local industry.
“We want local businesses to be exposed to more modern ways of running business and also see the modern technology used in and by different cities,” he said.
Various local companies from different sectors are set to partake in the trade mission.
“We are trying to identify new markets for all the industries like clothing companies and those who are into the fashion and casual wear industry. We are also planning on taking companies that are into home decoration and crafts work,” he said.
Mr Mugova said a number of EU companies have been coming to Zimbabwe looking for business opportunities.
“The EU companies, through their embassy, are coming to Zimbabwe and touring local companies in search of opportunities and we also want to take our local companies there as well to network and also market products. This will also be a training and capacity building opportunity,” said Mr Mugova.
This development comes at a time when local companies have been accused of not aggressively marketing their products to counter massive competition brought by goods from other countries.
The local companies have been found wanting for failing to take advantage of the trade missions conducted by ZimTrade in the Comesa region.
South Africa is one of the countries which on a yearly basis sends its businesses to Zimbabwe to look for opportunities.
Local companies are failing to venture into the export market due to a number of challenges resulting in a negative trade balance.
According to a ZimTrade Export Manufacturing Capacity Survey for 2013 over 70 percent of local companies that have been exporting in the past 10 years have ceased due to challenges such as low production.