Speaking during an export awareness seminar, ZimTrade manager SME export development Allan Majuru said negotiations were at advanced stages with some foreign countries to open markets for Zimbabwean SMEs.
He said a number of bilateral agreements have been signed with other countries to start trade.
“SMEs have the potential to grow but they need to diversify their markets because goods, which aren’t valuable in this country might have a demand in other countries.
“We’ve opened some export markets for SMEs in Zambia and Angola and we’ve placed some attaches who will facilitate business for SMEs through the Ministry of SMEs,” he said.
Majuru said local SMEs have been too reliant on local markets, which has stifled their growth. He added that ZimTrade is also negotiating for SMEs export markets with countries like Kenya, Tanzania and Angola.
In countries such as China and India, SMEs tend to dominate exports, hence effectively contribute to the growth of their economies. In an interview with BH24 the Minister of Small Enterprises and Cooperative Development Sithembiso Nyoni said the government was also working towards the broadening of the SMEs sector through assisting them to participate at trade fairs and trade exhibitions in the region to enable them to develop partnerships with foreign SMEs.
“We’ve connected the SMEs to a Japanese market to deliver goods worth $42 million and goods are being delivered as we talk,” she said.
Majuru said a number of SMEs had delivered their products to countries which they want to export their products and the ministry is negotiating with the countries to start exporting. In line with educating SMEs on how to export, ZimTrade is set to participate in South Africa with a number of SMEs during the Source Africa Event and Africa Big Seven processed food expo all scheduled for this month. — BH24.