Zim explores West Africa export market
Michael Makuza, Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE is keen to diversify its export market to West Africa with the national trade development and promotion organisation, ZimTrade, sending its team to explore trade opportunities in Senegal.
Building on the earlier mission to explore the Ghana market in the same region, the mission outcome should determine products and services that Zimbabwean companies can export to Western African region.
The market exploration is part of the country’s African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) focused efforts on reduced duty trade gains among African states.
ZimTrade chief executive officer, Mr Allan Majuru, said the market survey trip was meant to study products and services that suit markets in Senegal and also utilise opportunities made available by AfCFTA.
“The purpose of the study is to determine Zimbabwean products and services with potential in Senegal, riding on opportunities that have been made available by the African Continental Free Trade Area,” he said.
“Targeting Senegal as a market is in line with the National Export Strategy, which seeks to diversify our export markets and grow Zimbabwe’s exports to non-traditional markets.”
The historic AfCFTA is a continent-wide agreement that is targeting transforming Africa’s economy by dismantling trade barriers among countries in the continent, as well as deepening integration through improved infrastructure development, investment flows and enhanced competition.
Mr Majuru said Zimbabwe and Senegal have good relations as the country has an embassy in Dakar. Based on these cordial bilateral relations, Mr Majuru said the exploration of markets is expected to contribute towards improved economic co-operation between the two countries.
“In line with the current economic diplomacy agenda being implemented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the target is to transform good relations between Zimbabwe and Senegal into improved trading between the two countries,” he said.
Mr Majuru also said so far, they have identified sectors that have potential for Zimbabwe’s products and these include fast moving consumer goods, household goods, office and home furniture.
He said exporters should also consider cost effective logistics and ways that makes it easier to export to Senegal.
“There are also opportunities for services such as education, construction and engineering.
“For local products to be competitive, exporters need to consider efficient and cost-effective logistics and routes that will make it easy to land products and a competitive price in Senegal,” said Mr Majuru.
ZimTrade continues to facilitate the growth of exports to African states and recently it facilitated participation of 27 local companies to exhibit at Zambia’s largest trade exhibition event.
The organisation won the best recognition to international exhibit at the show and the Zimbabwean companies are set to increase exports to Zambia following increased engagements with buyers in the country.
ZimTrade is also facilitating market opportunities in Namibia and has urged local businesses to take advantage of the forthcoming 2022 Ongwediva Annual Trade Fair to expand their reach and showcase Zimbabwean products to potential buyers and to other participating countries.