By Josephine Mugiyo, Diplomatic Correspondent
ZIMBABWEANS based in the United Arab Emirates say the country should work towards increasing exports to the UAE market, where 80 per cent of food products are imported.
The incoming chairperson of the Zimbabwe Business Council in the UAE, Mr Innocent Nyaude, has stressed the importance of fostering partnerships with investors for the Zimbabwe business community to maximise the available opportunities in UAE.
“From a Zimbabwean perspective, we need to capitalise on the food industry. We need to address the areas that we are good in. You know the UAE imports over 80% of its products. One thing you can see is the importance of partnerships here at the EXPO. The partnerships will enable the growth of businesses. You need to look to see who is in your value chain and focus on that,” he said.
The council commended the government for strides taken so far in ensuring the ease of doing business through the setting up of organisations such as the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA).
Mr Nyaude noted that Zimbabwe’s success stories need to be amplified to the international community to boost investor confidence.
“The key thing done by the government is introducing ZIDA. Now it’s on us to see how we work with institutions such as ZIDA to ensure we connect with businesses back home,” added Nyaude.
He also spoke on how the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange outperformed the rest of sub-Saharan Africa on investment returns last year after its market value grew by 153 per cent.
Another Zimbabwean who alternates between UAE and Australia, Dr Allan Nhapi, said the diaspora community is keen to invest back home.
“I am still interested in investing back home. I have not lost my interest home. I’m looking at the real estate and agriculture sectors,” he said.
Meanwhile, the business community in the UAE is expected to meet President Emmerson Mnangagwa next week.