Art, craft exports rake in US$5,2m earnings

Business Reporter
THE art and craft sector is fast gaining momentum on the export front after raking in US$5,2 million between and January and August this year.

Through ZimTrade, the Government is working closely with players in the sector to unlock its wider potential and contribution to mainstream economy.

Ongoing business engagement programmes organised by ZimTrade to create sustainable and direct links between local artistes and buyers in international markets has seen the arts and crafts sector recording a 92,4 percent export growth in the first eight months of the year.

“Statistics show that exports from arts and crafts sector grew to US$5,2 million during the period under review this year, from US$2,7 million during the same period last year,” said ZimTrade citing official data from ZimStat.
“With current export promotion activities in which the sector in actively involved, projections are that figures will continue to grow.”

During the Intra-Africa Trade Fair, held from 15 to 21 November in Durban, five out of about 30 local companies that participated in the showcase were drawn from the art and craft sector.

These were drawn from rural communities in Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, and Mashonaland East.

“This integration of rural communities into mainstream export business, in line with the devolution agenda being fronted by the Government, is expected to see an influx of Zimbabwean products in regional and international markets, which in turn will grow exports from the sector,” said ZimTrade.

The art and craft sector is also participating at the ongoing Dubai 2020 Expo in the United Arab Emirates, which began on 1 October 2021 and runs through to March 2022.

Meanwhile, in its latest monthly newsletter, ZimTrade said the building and construction sector was also gaining ground in terms of exports, having recorded a significant increase of 43 percent in exports from US$21,1 million in 2020 to US$30,4 million in 2021.

“As new policy measures have been adopted to encourage local production as a response to imports, projections are that the sector might continue recording a positive export balance this year,” said the trade development and promotion agency.

“Increased production, coupled with participation at regional trade promotion events will allow local companies unlock more opportunities in the sector. Already, buyers in countries like Botswana prefer building and construction products from Zimbabwe, which are known to be durable and strong.”

ZimTrade has since urged Zimbabwean suppliers to ensure that they have enough capacity to sustain anticipated high demand of locally produced building and construction products.

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