HARARE – National trade promotion body, ZimTrade, says it is this year aiming to carry out trade promotion events in seven countries in the region and globally as part of efforts to diversify export markets.
Presently, South Africa is Zimbabwe’s biggest export market accounting for 63 percent of the market share. According to a Zimtrade export report released last week, the trade events will be carried out in Germany, United Kingdom, Dubai, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and Zambia.
In addition to these, surveys will be conducted in Botswana, Dubai and Malawi to identify opportunities for Zimbabwe exporters, especially in horticulture.
Other surveys will be done in Angola, Namibia and Tanzania as the trade body scouts for more exports opportunities in the region.
“South Africa is our major export partners and we need to diversify into other markets, that is how we can grow our exports and boost foreign currency earnings. There are a lot of countries we can export to, especially horticulture products,” reads part of the report.
Zimbabwe is currently exporting horticulture produce to Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal, France and Poland.
About 80 percent of Zimbabwe’s exports are primarily commodities and semi-processed goods, which results in the country earning relatively lower in earnings.
This also means Zimbabwe will be exporting jobs as well as have no control over the international prices of the exported goods, prices which can be unstable.
According to Zimtrade, there is need to add more efforts towards value addition of goods, as such can fetch more foreign currency.
Exporting companies also needed to be aware of the various trade agreements that Zimbabwe is signatory to and take advantage of such to boost their exports.
The European Union (EU) has indicated billions are lost by exporting firms due to lack of knowledge on the various trade agreements that exist.
Apart from the trade promotion events, ZimTrade will continue to engage development partners such as the Centre for Promoting Imports from Development Countries (CBI) which is based in Netherlands and currently working in Zimbabwe hence the need to lobby for their re-engagement.
The trade promotion body will also continue working with PUM Netherlands to promote import substitution while also involving in cluster development initiatives to enhance export competitiveness for the small to medium enterprises.