By Anyway Yotamu
ZimTrade is working towards increasing export promotion activities in regional and international markets as a way of meeting the National Export Strategy (NES) target of US$14 billion by 2030.
Speaking with this publication, ZimTrade Chief Executive Officer Mr. Allan Majuru said his organisation is at the core of implementing the National Export Strategy hence measures are being put in place to achieve the set targets.
“In the region, we are focusing on Zambia, Mozambique, Botswana, Malawi, DRC, Namibia, Angola and Tanzania with primary focus on international markets will be on Netherlands, Germany, UK, Dubai, Russia, France, China and Japan,” he said.
“The NES identifies Zim Trade as the implementing agency of the blueprint and some key activities have already been lined up to develop export capacities of local businesses,” said Majuru.
He also added that, Zim Trade strategy has been designed to ensure that locally produced products and services are visible in regional and international markets.
“To achieve this, we are engaging in Provincial leadership to develop export clusters in all provinces. The idea is that all provinces must contribute meaningfully to national exports, riding on areas where they enjoy a comparative and competitive advantage.”
“Further to this, we are working with our development cooperation partners, such as the Netherlands-based PUM, COLEACP, and SES of Germany, to capacitate local companies so that they improve their product quality and production efficiencies as well as other compliance issues,” said Majuru.
Majuru also noted that his organisation seeks to export development programmes to cover SMEs across the country and all sectors of the economy.
“These sectors include Processed Foods, Agricultural Inputs & Implements, Services, Arts & Crafts, Chemicals, Building & Construction materials, Engineering Products, Household Products, Clothing & Textiles, Leather & Leather Products, Packaging, Pharmaceuticals, Manufactured Tobacco, Furniture and Industrial Hemp,” he said.
The world is currently faced with COVID-19 pandemic challenges which require innovation among businesses for survival.
“As the global coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult for people to move across borders, we are developing an online platform that is expected to strengthen engagements between buyers and local exporters , the platform, which will be supported by a mobile application, will accommodate business to business (B2B) meetings as well as options for companies to sale their products online,” said Majuru.
With the global markets increasingly moving towards superfoods and this has seen a boom in global imports of commodities such as avocados.
“Superfoods, which include avocados and macadamia, are plant-based foods considered to be nutritiously dense and ideal for boosting the immune system and low in calories.
“Currently, Manicaland is being eyed as the national hub for horticulture and there is potential to increase the production of products that are in demand. There is potential to grow exports of avocado and macadamia, given the current production in Manicaland and there are plans to establish out-grower schemes around major farms, which will increase the contribution of smallholder farmers to national exports, in turn improving their livelihoods, the soils and climatic conditions favour production of avocados and macadamia and much investment is being channelled to increase production in the region as such to realise more value, there is need to value add products, producing, for example, avocado oil, seasoning and snacks,” he said.
Recently government officials visited Manicaland province to assess some of the projects which can contribute towards the National Export Strategy to show the seriousness that the government attaches to the successful implementation of the blueprint.