Bianca Mlilo Business Reporter
BUSINESSES in Zimbabwe should increase dialogue with the Government to facilitate exports that will boost earnings for the country, an expert has said. Speaking on the sidelines of a recent marketing and branding workshop in Bulawayo, a trade competitiveness expert, Dr Jacky Charbonneau, said dialogue between key stakeholders was imperative if Zimbabwean companies were to make it in the export market.
A training programme by the International Trade Centre (ITC) is being conducted in the country targeting small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and established companies keen to exploit export markets.
The ITC has facilitated creation of a Trade Information Portal (TIP), which was developed under the EU-funded Trade and Private Sector Development Programme (TPSDP). The TIP, launched in Zimbabwe in June this year, is an online platform, which provides a comprehensive, single-point access of up-to-date trade, investment, economic and regulatory information.
Dr Charbonneau said their first port of call would be vocational training — building the awareness of enterprises, followed by skills development, which involved mapping the way forward after identifying target markets.
“From there on comes the need to support the business by entertaining dialogue with the Government, with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, the Standards Association of Zimbabwe, as well as banking and finance institutions,” he said.
“This is done because enterprises, which are ready to export, need to have financing and simplified export procedures to be able to go effectively to the market without having to fill a number of papers and going through a number of complex procedures.”
Dr Charbonneau said this would allow Zimbabwe to compete on an equal footing with its major competitors including in the neighbouring countries. He said marketing and branding was a key global businesses activity, with about 15 countries having carried out capacity building workshops.
The workshops were introduced in Zimbabwe in November 2014 and are facilitated by ZimTrade. Selected SMEs participating in the activity will participate first at the ZITF in preparation for external promotion activities.