BUSINESSES in Zimbabwe and Democratic Republic of Congo have been urged to take full advantage of opportunities available in the two countries and grow bilateral trade.
Speaking during the outward seller mission that opened in that country on Tuesday, Government and private sector leaders from the two countries encouraged businesses to exploit the long-standing excellent political and economic ties between Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC).
The mission that was organised by ZimTrade ends today.
Addressing the 30 Zimbabwean businesses and over 100 private sector players in Lubumbashi, the Zimbabwe Ambassador to DRC, Johannes Tomana, said the outward seller mission was grounded in the appreciation that the DRC remained a strategic partner for the country, and a gateway to the region.
“As a country, the East African region remains a priority for us and comes as a strategic trading country for us as it will act as the gateway into the region.
“This partnership presents an opportunity for our companies to break into that region the same way that the Congolese will use Zimbabwe to penetrate the Southern region,” he said.
The Haut-Katanga Provincial Minister of Economy and Trade, Celine Munanga commended efforts by President Mnangagwa and his counterpart, President Felix Tshilombo in strengthening economic co-operation between the two countries.
“We also take this opportunity to commend the efforts of our two Heads of State, their Excellencies Emmerson Mnangagwa and Felix-Antoine Tshisekedi who are joining forces for the development of industry and boosting sustainable development,” she said.
Speaking during the same event, the DRC Governor of the Province of Haut-Katanga, Jacques Kyabula Katwe said businesses in the two countries should take advantage of the outward seller mission to strengthen co-operation, which is rooted in the shared history.
“Point is needed to emphasise that the links between the two countries are historical, and grow every time we engage.
“I therefore invite businesses in Congo and Zimbabwe to take this opportunity to optimise our co-operation,” he said.
The outward seller mission is one of ZimTrade’s export promotion programmes, designed to strengthen linkages between Zimbabwean exporters and buyers in the DRC.
At last year’s event, Zimbabwean companies recorded deals worth more than US$13 million during the event.
Some of the local companies have already started fulfilling the orders while others are at an advanced stage of negotiations.
At this year’s event, discussions will focus on market requirements and best options for local companies to land their products and services in Lubumbashi, and the rest of DRC.
Participating companies are drawn from sectors such as horticulture, processed foods, building and construction, mining, and engineering services.
Other sectors represented at the mission are agricultural inputs and implements, protective wear, and information and communication technologies and services.