By Davison Vandira
THE country’s trade promotion body, ZimTrade’s Annual Exporter’s Conference kicked-off in Harare this Wednesday, with buyers from four countries outlining processes and regulatory frameworks in their different markets.
The two-day conference is running under the theme, ‘Inclusive, Diversified and Connected’, which is in line with the country’s export strategy targeting an annual 10 percent growth in export earnings.
Buyers from Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Ghana who are championing regional trade integration in light of the African Continental Free Trade Area gave an insight into opportunities in their jurisdictions, stressing the need for exporters to strictly adhere to set regulations and procedures for sustainability.
“I am glad to be here at this exporters’ conference where I want to highlight unlimited export opportunities for Zimbabwean products to Malawi as the country does not produce anything but relies largely on South Africa, hence the need to explore the competitive advantage gap,” said a buyer from Malawi, Elvis Madekutsikwa.
“The Zambian export market as well as its currency have been declared the best performing within the region over the past year, with Zambia’s manufacturing sector still lagging behind, it is time for Zimbabwean products to strengthen their presence in Zambia and that’s the reason we are here,” noted Newton Magoronga from Zambia.
Ghanaian buyer, Michael Manirakiza said, “Ghana is a huge market which has remained untapped, but I want to thank Zimtrade for inviting us here for the second time this year and I want to say our initial encounter earlier this year is bearing fruit as a number of Zimbabwean products are finding their way to Ghana as we speak.”
ZimTrade Operations Director, Mr Similo Nkala is optimistic interactions between buyers and exporters will culminate in monetary value for the country.
“We have witnessed a lot of export growth even at micro level because of these interactions that we continue to explore in different markets that we have gone to through our outward sellers missions that we have been ongoing consistency for three years now,” said Nkala.
Under the National Development ñnñStrategy One, Zimbabwe is targeting an export-led economy, hence ZimTrade’s offensive on the African continent in search of export opportunities for local businesses.