Tinashe Nhari Business Reporter
Zimtrade has put in place initiatives to revive the collapsing clothing and textile industry, which in recent years has gone through significant decline.
ZimTrade CEO Mrs Sithembile Pilime said there was need to restore the clothing and textile industry to its glory days when Zimbabwe exported products in vast amounts to the European Union, SADC and the United States.
She said this while officially opening the Mauritius-Zimbabwe buyers/sellers meeting organised by Enterprise Mauritius.
She said ZimTrade had launched the cotton to clothing strategy, which began running this year and will continue until 2019 with the key objective of working towards the restoration of the textile industry.
“We need to restore the textile and clothing industry as we know that the sector used to thrive and we used to export large quantities into the EU and the Americas along with other markets,” she said.
She noted that due to the cordial relations between Zimbabwe and Mauritius they were plans in the early 2000s for Mauritian experts to come to Zimbabwe to help in developing the cottage industry in the clothing sector as their cottage industries have managed over the years to produce high quality products.
ZimTrade and Enterprise Mauritius will in this regard sign a memorandum of understanding by next year to formalise their relations in their bid to improve intra-Africa trade.
Mr Almedee Darga, the chairman of Enterprise Mauritius, said Zimbabwe should revive the clothing industry because it is a formidable creator of jobs and can contribute to national wealth.
“We import our cotton from Zimbabwe and there’s no reason why Zimbabwe cannot fully exploit this resource to help its own people,” he said.
The buyers-sellers meeting will run for two days with the aim of fostering relationships between Zimbabwe and Mauritian businesses.
On the opening day yesterday, three Mauritian companies had already signed deals with three Zimbabwean companies worth $2,5 million.