Tinashe Makichi, Harare Bureau
ZimTrade has implored government to review investment and trade policies to support private sector initiatives in accessing export markets.
While presenting the findings of the Namibia Market Survey, Africa Corporate Advisors director Malvern Rusike yesterday said there were market opportunities for Zimbabwean companies but a review of trade policies remains fundamental.
He said the Namibian market remains lucrative considering the good political relations between the two countries and local companies should exploit the available opportunities in that market.
“A review investment and trade policies to support private sector initiatives in accessing export markets should be a long term strategy for local companies to be able to export viably.
He said both Zimbabwe and Namibia belong to the same regional economic and political bloc of Sadc, which provides for duty free trade on define products.
Rusike said Namibia has good infrastructure in the form of quality roads easily facilitates movement of goods and is a gateway into south Angola.
“Local companies should consider exporting to this market as it provides an array of opportunies despite having a smaller population. Am sure some might think population dynamics might have an effect on trade but we have since made an observation that Namibians have a stronger spending power,” said Rusike.
The survey which was conducted in September this year identified opportunities for local products and services in sectors such as Building and Construction, Pharmaceuticals, Leather and leather related products and Human Capital Skills, among others.
Zimbabwe’s current exports to Namibia comprise: pharmaceutical products, iron and steel products, agricultural inputs, leather products, among others.
According to Trade map, Namibia’s import bill in 2014 was $7,4 billion with Zimbabwe supplying $17,7 million.
Rusike said most pharmaceutical and medical centres in Namibia are manned by Zimbabwe professionals.
He said Zimbabwean companies should also consider venturing into pork meat processing business in Namibia.
“While Namibia is a cattle country, pigs are not easily raised in the predominantly hot temperature, opportunities for pork.There is a government to government agreement between the two countries,” said Rusike.
He said in the short term local companies should take advantage of existing infrastructures and willing traders in Namibia and also make use of Zimbabwean contacts in Namibia.
In 2014, Namibia was the tenth largest export destination for Zimbabwean products and trade between the two countries is governed by the Sadc Trade Protocol and the Preferential Trade Agreement which offer preferential treatment to qualifying products into each other’s market.
Rusike encouraged companies to utilise the PFTA to boost their market share in Namibia.