ZIMBABWE has moved to implement the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) Trade Related Facility (TRF) project aimed at enhancing infrastructure standards for increased trade competitiveness.
The project is being funded by the European Union Commission through the Sadc Secretariat to the tune of €1.4 million and would run until September 2019.
“The Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development wishes to inform all its valued stakeholders of the implementation of the Southern African Development Community Trade Related Facility project, which is aimed at strengthening Zimbabwe’s quality and standards infrastructure,” the permanent secretary, Mrs Abigail Shonhiwa, said.
“The (TRF) support will be used to strengthen the national quality infrastructure towards the full implementation of technical barriers to trade (TBT) and sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) agreements.”
Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures are measures to protect humans, animals, and plants from diseases, pests, or contaminants. The national quality infrastructure, sanitary and phytosanitary environment in Zimbabwe is key to the country’s implementation of commitments under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) technical barriers to trade and sanitary and phytosanitary agreements. These are important for regional trade because of the link with annexes on TBTs and SPS of the Sadc Protocol on Trade, said Mrs Shonhiwa.
“The overall objective of the project is to increase export of goods and services and improve quality and safety of goods produced and imported into the country through the use of quality standards, TBT and SPS related measures,” she said.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the overall objective of the project is to promote the use of quality and SPS infrastructure to improve the competitiveness and access of Zimbabwe’s export products and services in local, regional and international markets.
Beneficiaries of the project include Government ministries and agencies responsible for industry, commerce, lands and agriculture, health, livestock and veterinary services, research and specialist services, laboratories, national biotechnology, metrology institutions as well as the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ).
Mrs Shonhiwa paid tribute to the EU Commission and the SAC for the financial support saying the country was geared to working hard to ensure successful implementation of the project.