National export development and promotion agency, ZimTrade says it has identified seven regional markets and three new markets outside Africa in its 2020 to 2023 strategy to increase participation in export promotion activities.
The markets include Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana, Malawi, DRC, Namibia and Angola, as well as Dubai, China and Japan.
Speaking to The Herald Finance & Business, last week, ZimTrade chief executive officer, Allan Majuru said; “ZimTrade has in its 2020 to 2023 strategy identified seven regional markets, where participation in export promotion activities will be increased, as well as conduct innovative in-market promotional activities in conjunction with our embassies. These markets are Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana, Malawi, DRC, Namibia, and Angola.
“They have been determined partly in response to the national and focus on regional integration. The establishment and subsequent ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), as well as the earlier founded Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) has shown that there is scope for increased intra-Africa trade with a potential of over US$50 billion over a 20-year period.
“We have identified new markets outside Africa, which include Dubai, China and Japan. Dubai is a strategic market that will offer access to the entire United Arab Emirates, especially for horticultural produce. For China, we are working on a protocol on citrus, which is expected to increase our exports of citrus fruits to the country.
“As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade is looking to strengthen economic co-operation, Zimbabwe’s missions abroad will assist in connecting local businesses with foreign markets.
We will also conduct market surveys to identify potential customers and buyers for local products in those new markets,” he said.
As part of the key initiatives to drive exports in new markets, ZimTrade said it will conduct innovative in-market promotional activities together with its embassies.
Meanwhile, Mr Majuru said as the export development and promotion agency, they are focusing on key sectors earmarked for growth and have put in place support measures that will ensure exporters are competitive on the export market to realise the Zimbabwe National Export Strategy’s 10 percent growth per year target.
He said priority sectors identified by the National Export Strategy include horticulture; cotton to clothing value chain sector; arts and crafts; pharmaceuticals; leather and leather products; iron and steel; wood and furniture; and fertiliser and chemicals. For the services industry, priority sectors include tourism services; transport services; education services; medical services; business services; Information, Communication Technology; energy-related services; construction and engineering services; financial services; and events and meetings industry.
“Currently, we are developing players in the sectors to be export ready while at the same time providing them with relevant and up-to-date market information and intelligence so that they produce from market-in approach.
“Thirdly, we are supporting developed sectors with market access and in-market promotion by identifying buyers and exhibitions where they can get exposure and find off-takers for their products,” he added.
Mr Majuru anticipates significant growth in local exports this year which he said is attributable to the mono-currency system.
“If all stakeholders and sectors’ players can focus on what needs to be done to grow exports, 2020 can bring significant growth. The demand pattern is promising. Our currency issues have created a need for companies to export and generate foreign currency. The mono-currency has also made our products competitive on the foreign market, unlike previously when the US dollar made our products more expensive,” he said.
ZimTrade, will be hosting dissemination seminars on Thursday and Friday in Harare and Bulawayo this week to share findings of market surveys it conducted for some of the seven regional markets last year.