Zimbabwean exporters to  strengthen footprint in Zambia Mr Allan Majuru

Business Reporter

At least 30 companies will showcase their products and services in Lusaka, Zambia, from 27 July-1 August as Zimbabwe seeks to increase the visibility of its products in regional markets.

Participation of local companies at the Zambia Agricultural and Commercial Show (ZACS), which is facilitated by national trade development and promotion organisation, ZimTrade, will improve linkages with leading buyers in the market.

ZimTrade chief executive officer, Allan Majuru, said the participation of local companies at the trade exhibition will unlock export opportunities and feeds into the Second Republic’s economic diplomacy agenda.

“Our objective in approaching Zambian market is very clear, as we implement President Mnangagwa’s directive, that we need to leverage on our relations with regional and international countries to improve our trade.

“From the deals that will be made during the exhibition, we are expecting to see an increase in trade between Zimbabwe and Zambia,” he said.

Mr. Majuru further noted that the country will ride on good reputation that has been built by products that are currently in the Zambian market.

“Already most buyers in the market are familiar with high quality of products from Zimbabwe and have indicated that they prefer our products compared to competition.

“Going forward we want to ride on these performing products to introduce more diversified products, which in turn will boost our exports into the country,” said Mr. Majuru.

As ZACS returns since 2019, following the outbreak of Covid-19, it is expected that more buyers from the country and beyond will attend, providing Zimbabwean companies with a prime group of potential buyers.

Participating local companies are drawn from sectors such as fast-moving consumer goods, agricultural inputs and implements, leather and leather products, protective clothing, and building and construction.

The service sector will also be represented by companies in engineering service, finance, insurance, and education. 

The 94th edition of the trade show will be running under the theme, “Innovation through Technology, Technology Transforms Businesses”

Before the pandemic, ZimTrade had been facilitating for local companies to attend Zambia Agricultural and commercial (ZACS) trade show for over five years, reaping some fruitful results.

Zimbabwean manufacturers and distributors have a unique opportunity to grow exports to Zambia, anchored primarily on advantages related to logistics operations and an advanced manufacturing sector.

A recent market survey conducted by ZimTrade in 2019 revealed that Zambia offers high potential for Zimbabwean products and services in, for example, processed foods, agriculture, and mining sectors.

The survey revealed that some local companies are already servicing the market, with processed foods that are known to have better quality compared to competition.

Taking advantage of these products already in the Zambian market, there is a huge potential for Zimbabwe to supply products and services to the Zambian market at low tariff rates, riding on trade agreements.

Further to this, there is an increasing demand in Zambia mining provinces for fast moving consumer goods that include processed foods and beverages, personal care products and toiletries.

Zambia is predominantly a copper mining country, with six percent of the world’s reserves and the second largest copper producer in Africa after the DRC.

Mining is a growing sector in Zambia, with several projects being commissioned annually, especially in the Copperbelt Province.

This presents opportunities for local companies to supply personal protective equipment, mining equipment, and mining consumables.

Other sectors with potential include the services sector with potential in transport, plant maintenance, engineering, instrumentation, environmental management, and artisanal services like quantity surveying. There are also opportunities to offer services to mines.   

Typical services that mines seek include outsourced labour, such as management advisory, legal, marketing, banking and finance, security and cleaning services.

Further to this, there is potential for Zimbabwe to supply products and services to the Zambian market at low tariff rates, riding on the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) trade agreements that the two countries are signatories to.

For example, COMESA implemented Simplified Trade Regime (STR) to help small trader to benefit from the preferential rates enjoyed by commercial traders when importing or exporting goods within the COMESA trading bloc. Zimbabwe has an agreement on the STR with Zambia and Malawi.

The STR is a Customs Clearance procedure used by small scale cross border traders importing or exporting goods from one COMESA Member State to the other.

STR is used when the small-scale cross border trader is exporting goods valued at US$1000.00 or less per consignment.

However, the goods should be listed on the COMESA STR Common List. 

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