HomeNewsTake advantage of trade agreements — ZimTrade

Take advantage of trade agreements — ZimTrade

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ZimTrade on Friday took Zimbabwe’s exporters through the country’s key trade agreements, urging them to take advantage of its various bilateral and multilateral pacts with partners to develop sustainable export markets.

The organisation is the country’s largest institution for trade promotion and trade information.

Addressing the private sector during a breakfast meeting on Zimbabwe’s trade agreements organised by ZimTrade, Angelica Katurusa – a director in the Regional Integration and International Cooperation ministry – said local businesses should familiarise themselves with Zimbabwe’s bilateral pacts and multilateral trade agreements.

The country is signatory to Sadc and Comesa trade protocols, the Cotonou Agreement between the European Union and African Caribbean Pacific (ACP) countries and the World Trade Organisation.

Sadc and Comesa are free trade areas (FTA) aiming to grow into to a customs union, while the EU’s FTA with ACP countries through economic partnership agreements is still under negotiation.

“Zimbabwean companies’ should know the trade agreements in order to enhance their participation with the main objective of increasing and maintaining the presence of Zimbabwean products, brands and market share in these markets.” Katurusa said.

She advised that Zimbabwe’s FTA agreement with the EU was expected in 2012, while the tripartite agreement among Sadc, Comesa and the East African Community, which could create a Cape-to-Cairo FTA, is currently under negotiation.

“Negotiations are ongoing at both regional and multilateral levels to review and facilitate trade for the mutual benefit of stakeholders,” she said.

Zimbabwe has bilateral trade agreements with South Africa, Malawi and Mozambique.

Katurusa said Sadc has an efficient border management system for trade facilitation at Beitbridge border post and the Chirundu one-stop border post.

She urged small-scale traders to use the Comesa simplified trade regime and larger exporters to use World Trade Organisation agreements on food standards or trade defence mechanisms.

“These instruments are available for the smooth movement of goods,” she said.

ZimTrade marketing manager Chris Tsimba also encouraged businesses to use various trade information instruments available at ZimTrade.

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