Zimtrade Invades United Kingdom and Ghana markets

By Davison Vandira

The country’s export promotion body, ZimTrade, has invaded the United Kingdom and Ghanaian markets with local companies getting positive feedback for potential export deals.

In line with the export promotion agenda as spelt out by the National Development Strategy One, Zimtrade this Tuesday hosted an export opportunity dissemination seminar where local companies drawn from agriculture, fast food consumer goods and the construction industry were appraised on the requirements of the United Kingdom and Ghanaian markets.

According to Zimtrade’s export promotion manager, Mrs Vuyiswa Mafu, the engagement is in support of the development, consolidation and diversification of exports from Zimbabwe through structured market research on existing and emerging markets.

“These market surveys are for the benefit of Zimbabwean exporters and would-be exporters in that they provide critical information that will make it easy to produce products that meet market-specific requirements and that is the reason we are disseminating information with regards to the UK and Ghanaian markets,” she explained.

Buyers from the two countries expressed satisfaction with product quality and are optimistic of establishing long lasting partnerships.

“For Zimbabwean products the UK market is not new, but these efforts are to revitalise what is already known and Britain’s exit from the European Union is a yawning gap that we are seeking to utilise,” said Carlos Arceiz, Chief Buyer at WT Hill & Sons, United Kingdom.

Ghanaian Buyer Mrs Esther Asante said, “I am quite excited about Zimbabwe’s structured agriculture, which, unlike Ghana’s, has got a lot of potential to export to our country which is not yet there and we are here to forge alliances that will see us grow together.”

Mr Gideon Dendzo, another Ghanaian buyer said, “The operationalisation of the African Continental Free Trade Area is the push factor for us to come here to explore opportunities that are mutually beneficial to our countries and I am happy to say that we are getting what we really want.”

The engagement is in sync with government’s robust efforts to diversify export markets to unlock opportunities in traditional and new markets.

Government is already on a major re-engagement drive where the target is to re-integrate Zimbabwe within the global supply chain, after years of isolation.

There are also vast export opportunities for Zimbabwean companies with Horticulture, processed foods, essential oils, herbs and spices as well as arts and crafts being the low hanging fruits.

United Kingdom is one of the top importers of Zimbabwean horticultural produce such as mange tout, sugar snap peas, flowers, and avocados.

There is great potential to export more by focusing on changing consumer dynamics in the market, where people are now focusing on eating their way to a strong immune system.

Local producers can also leverage off the diaspora population in the UK to increase exports.