Story by Wellington Makonese
CAPTAINS of industry and commerce have resolved to expand Zimbabwe’s regional footprint as agreements on relaxation of trade barriers take shape.
The two-day Annual Trade- Tariff Conference came to an end this Thursday with the private sector highlighting the importance of exploring trading blocs which Zimbabwe is part of.
The resolution comes when the focus is shifting towards reaping trade relaxation gains from the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Livestock and Meat Advisory Council executive director, Dr Reneth Mano said, “We are seized with understanding agreements with the EU sector; we have seen that we are ready to exploit opportunities opened in livestock and poultry. We need to reduce transaction costs and improve competitiveness.”
“We are looking to boost intra-Africa trade, we are now expected to increase our market to 1.3 billion and increase the diversity of products that are to be traded without barriers of tariffs,” said Dairy Processors Association of Zimbabwe Secretary General, Mrs Clementine Tendayi Marecha.
The government has reaffirmed its commitment to supporting export-oriented firms.
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce assistant director in the Tariff Division, Ms Cicilia Mashava said, “Harness trade agreements, develop policies that promote exports of value-added products, exporting unprocessed minerals and value-added products hence the need to diversify. We need to tap into the new markets. Produce innovative value-added goods.”
Zimbabwe’s largest export destination is South Africa accounting for 45 percent followed by the United Arab Emirates standing at 28 percent and China at seven percent.