At least 20 Zimbabwean companies are, this week, participating at the Zambia Agricultural and Commercial Show (ZACS) where they are looking at exploring export opportunities.
According to the national trade development and promotion organisation, Zimtrade, Zambia is amongst the top export markets for Zimbabwean products and is a lucrative market for locally produced products and services.
Zimbabwean companies are however, still to take advantage of available opportunities as the country currently have a trade deficit against its northern neighbours.
The available statistics from Trade Map show that Zimbabwe exported a total of US$66 million in 2018 against a total import bill of US$177 million from Zambia, creating a trade deficit of US$111 million.
Attending ZACS will thus provide local companies with an opportunity to establish business contacts, create leads and engage in business-to-business meetings that will increase their export base.
The Zambian market is said to have “an increasing demand” for FMCG goods.
“That include processed foods and beverages, personal care products and toiletries as well as mining supplies, according to a survey conducted by Zimtrade.
“We also found that the Copperbelt offers opportunity for mining supplies such as safety wear, servicing of silos, chemical re-agents, excavator services and industrial components such as jaw crushers and separators,” said Zimtrade cheif executive officer Allan Majuru.
Mr Majuru said ZACS has been one of the “most effective platforms” for Zimbabwean companies to penetrate the Zambian market over the years and continues to open more avenues for local exporters.
“We have seen several companies starting their exporting journeys through this show and grow from it year on year to serve a broader section of the Zambian market,” he said.
This year Zimtrade is facilitating 10 companies to exhibit at the show for the first time while the remaining 10 companies have participated at least once in previous shows.
The first timers are mostly from the processed foods sector and an increase in exports from this sector is a result of proximity and low entry barriers, according to Mr Majuru.
The other sectors, exhibiting for the first time, are coming from the personal care, clothing and agricultural inputs sectors.
The bulk of the participants of at least eight companies are however, coming from the food processing sector.