Boitumelo Makhurane, Business Reporter
ZIMBABWEAN producers should tap into the Tanzania market as part of their regional export growth strategy to enhance the country’s gains under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Following the operationalisation of the AfCFTA early this year, the country through the trade development and promotion agency, ZimTrade, is increasing its engagement with regional markets by exploring opportunities for local products.
Trading under the historic trade regime began on January 1, this year and is seen as a significant stride towards continental economic integration.
Last Thursday, ZimTrade hosted a market intelligence information dissemination seminar focusing on Tanzania market to prepare and equip local producers with knowledge regarding the vast export opportunities in that country.
The initiative dovetails with the Government’s economic diplomacy stance and supports the National Development Strategy’s focus on strengthening co-operation with the international community.
Speaking during the virtual event, Tanzanian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Professor Emmanuel Mbennah, said ZimTrade’s engagement with regional markets was commendable.
“Following the commencement of trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area in January this year, ZimTrade is increasing its engagement with regional markets to explore opportunities for local products and services,” he said.
“The market activities are expected to provide market intelligence that will help Zimbabwean companies get an insight on products that have an export potential, market requirements as well as the export penetration strategies that can be adopted for the markets.”
The trade agency has said the market survey in Tanzania was focusing areas in which Zimbabwe has higher comparative advantage such as processed foods, building and construction, horticulture, agriculture inputs and implements sectors.
Mr Anselm Moshi, a Tanzanian businessman also made a presentation highlighting wider opportunities that Zimbabwean companies can explore in the industry sector.
“Manufacturing companies in Zimbabwe can take this opportunity to explore the vast opportunities for products and services. We are looking forward to engaging with different companies in Zimbabwe,’’ he said.
ZimTrade client manager, Mr Kupakwashe Midzi, said regional markets were easy to access and less costly when exporting.
“There are vast opportunities for local exporters in Tanzania, especially small businesses riding on regional and continental trade agreements, which help local exporters to cut on exporting costs.
“Given the proximity to Tanzania, small businesses should consider this market,” he said.
Zimbabwe and Tanzania are signatories to the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) Trade Protocol, which stimulates and encourages trade by giving one another preferential treatment in the reduction or elimination of customs duties.
According to Trade Map, Tanzania imported products and services worth around US$11,57 billion in 2019, up from US$7,69 billion in 2016. Top import products that Zimbabwean manufacturers can export to Tanzania include electrical machinery, pharmaceutical products, animal or vegetable fat, cereals and tobacco. — @Boity104