Panashe Nyamudeza and Sandra Maziwisa
Over 80 Zimbabwean companies drawn from various sectors of the economy on Tuesday participated at the Mozambique inward trade mission to Zimbabwe seeking to expand trade linkages between the two countries.
The Mozambique delegation had a total eight buyers, drawn from sectors such as fast moving consumer goods, agriculture inputs, agriculture implements, construction, and engineering.
The mission, which is part of ZimTrade’s efforts to grow trade and business networks among companies in the two countries drew participants from various sectors including processed foods and beverages, horticulture, agricultural implements and inputs, packaging, building and construction, engineering services, and protective wear, among other products.
Speaking at the event, ZimTrade chief executive officer Mr Allan Majuru represented by Mrs Vuyiswa Mafu stated that the mission is testimony of the trade and investment opportunities that exist in Mozambique and the need to further explore them.
“We are pleased that some of the Zimbabwean and Mozambican companies have established mutually beneficial partnerships and contacts which have culminated into business orders over the years through such events,’’ Mr Majuru said in his speech.
He added that there is need to capitalize on the proximity of the two countries to increase trade therein.
“Companies in both countries are encouraged to take advantage of the SADC trade Protocol, the Zimbabwe – Mozambique Bilateral Trade Agreement and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCTA), that offers preferential market access to qualifying products.
“Trading under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA presents enormous business opportunities for the Pan-African Private Sector, SMEs, Women and Youths as the continent takes this bold move towards boosting intra-Africa trade,” said Mr Majuru.
He said that statistics from the Trade Map show that Mozambique imported products worth US$6,6 billion in 2020 globally which was dominated by machinery, mechanical appliances, electrical machinery and equipment.
According to the Trade Map Mozambique imported goods worth US$17 million in 2020 from Zimbabwe and the main products exported to Mozambique are tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes, ceramic products residues and waste from the food industries, prepared animal fodder and dairy produce.
Mr Majuru pointed out that the figure is low despite the proximity and good political relations that exist between the two countries.
Although it is a challenge it also presents opportunities, he said.
Commenting on the opportunities that lie in the neighbouring country, battery manufacturing company Chloride Zimbabwe said its market share improved in 2020 after working with distributors in Beira, Mozambique.
“In 2020 that’s when we started seeing some improvements, we were now doing 100 batteries per month, 70 through our own buying and 30 thorough distributors,” said sales and marketing manager Panganai Kufakunesu.
Encouraging other companies to venture into the Mozambican market, Mr Majuru said ZimTrade, as well as the Zimbabwe Embassy in Mozambique, remain committed to assisting businesses from both countries to establish and strengthen mutual business linkages.