ZIMBABWE’S export promotion body, ZimTrade has urged local companies to utilise the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) export finance facilities to increase their production and exports.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
RBZ has provided a number of export finance facilities through selected local banks in a bid to increase local production and encourage the growth of exports.
The funding facilities include, value addition, horticulture, cross border and the business linkages facilities.
It is envisaged that the facilities, which are being offered at rates lower than those offered by commercial banks, will go a long way in improving the performance of companies.
However, there have been growing concerns that potential beneficiaries of the central bank’s loans were failing to access them due to banks reluctance to disburse the soft loan packages.
The facilities are being offered at a tenor of 12 months for working capital and 36 months for capital expenditure at an all-inclusive rate of 7,5% and 10,5%, respectively.
Industry players, however, are saying the cost of money was too high, advocating the central bank to further review interest rates downwards.
“ZimTrade encourages manufacturers and producers to approach Agribank and Homelink for more information,” ZimTrade said.
For the horticulture facility, the Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of Zimbabwe (ECGC) was roped in to ensure accessibility of the funds by guaranteeing security.
With a view of promoting uptake of the funds, ZimTrade signed MoUs with Agribank and Homelink the institutions disbursing the RBZ funds, and with ECGC, who are underwriting them.
In February, export finance awareness seminars were held in Harare and Bulawayo with Midlands and Mutare scheduled for May.