ZIMBABWE’S export promotion body, ZimTrade, has urged local companies to produce quality products in order to remain competitive on the global market.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
In its monthly newsletter, ZimTrade said companies needed to consider engaging institutions such as the Standard Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) to know the various certification schemes that were available for products and services.
“ZimTrade is urging companies to embrace and maintain a culture of attaining the highest standards in all they do if they are to succeed in the competitive global market,” ZimTrade said.
“The benefits of producing a product or service to international quality standards (that is excellence) include easier access to markets, market retention, company growth and increased profitability. The SAZ services and certification schemes are meant to enhance the competitiveness of Zimbabwe’s products and to help enterprises gain and maintain market access.”
Local products have remained uncompetitive on the global scale as they are perceived inferior. This has meant that a number of local firms have failed to generate foreign currency through exports and shift focus to the local market.
The tough obtaining environment has eroded the purchasing power of locals.
ZimTrade said it had been re-certified to the ISO Quality Management System following the SAZ audit that was conducted in December 2014.
International trade now requires certification as a base for confirming the quality of tradable products and services.
ZimTrade chief executive officer Sithembile Pilime said while they celebrated recertification, they needed to remain focused and oriented towards “our goals as well as continuously adhering to our set policies and procedures. This would guide us to effectively discharge our mandate for the benefit of industry”.
In 1994, ZimTrade made history by becoming the first trade promotion organisation in Africa to attain the ISO Quality Management certification.
The organisation took a deliberate decision to conform to internationally-recognised best practices in service delivery, thus ensuring clients’ and stakeholders’ needs were met.