ZimTrade conference focuses on linkages, export growth

ZimTrade, the country’s trade development and promotion organization, today hosts its annual exporters’ conference and awards dinner in Harare, which focuses on building linkages and partnerships to grow exports.

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

The State-owned institution has hosted the exporters’ conference and awards since 2012 as a platform to link exporters, trade experts, senior businesspeople, and policy makers.

Running under the theme Accelerating export growth for sustainable economic development, the exporters’ conference will be officially opened by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

ZimTrade chief executive officer, Allan Majuru, described this year’s event as a landmark and critical conference, as the new administration has begun to recognise the primacy of export growth to Zimbabwe’s economic development.

“We are happy to have His Excellency President (Emmerson) Mnangagwa attending to give the keynote address. Minister of Industry and Commerce, Honourable Nqobizitha Ndlovu, will also present. Commitment from such prominent policymakers to engage our exporters and trade experts will go a long way to positively impact Zimbabwe’s trade performance, especially exports,” Majuru said.

Former chief executive officer of Enterprise Mauritius, Dev Chamroo, who is now a senior consultant for CITC Ltd (CITC) of Mauritius, is among the key speakers. CITC provides advice to governments, the private sector, NGOs and other stakeholders.

Enterprise Mauritius is the Mauritian equivalent of ZimTrade. The African island country has become an export success story with valuable lessons for Zimbabwean companies seeking foreign markets.

As a well-regarded strategist, Chamroo will talk about building linkages and partnerships to grow exports.

Two guests from The Netherlands Centre for Promotion of Imports from developing countries (CBI) will also give a talk on value chain and export dynamics in the European (EU) market.

CBI supports entrepreneurs in developing markets with coaching and market information to sell their products in the EU.

Pieter Schotel will outline opportunities and key trends in the EU market, while Jeroen van der Hulst will present on floriculture, from farm to market. Several other local and international experts and speakers will engage delegates on practical and strategic issues pertaining to exporting.

A key outcome of the conference is industry-driven resolutions that ZimTrade would use to lobby for an improvement in the ease of doing export business.

An awards dinner follows the conference, where prizes are awarded to Zimbabwean exporters who have managed to excel despite the challenging operating environment.

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