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‘Trade missions, expos a game changer for Zim’

Over the years, ZimTrade has organised several inward buyer and outward seller missions to create seamless business synergies between Zimbabwean companies and buyers from the region and beyond.

ZIMBABWE’S ambassador to Zambia, Charity Charamba says ZimTrade’s trade missions in other nations will assist the country secure lucrative export deals in those markets.

Over the years, ZimTrade has organised several inward buyer and outward seller missions to create seamless business synergies between Zimbabwean companies and buyers from the region and beyond.

Local businesses participating in ZimTrade’s business fora, expos and trade missions are provided with an opportunity to increase brand awareness, generate new leads, form new partnerships and showcase products, services and technologies.

Last week, the country’s trade development and promotion organisation facilitated the participation of exporters at Agritech Expo, a premier event in Zambia for showcasing the latest agricultural technology, products, and services.

Nine companies participated at the expo, which brought together suppliers and farmers of all scales to showcase products and educate customers on new methods and services available in the market.

“I am actually excited that ZimTrade has been on the forefront to bring in various Zimbabwean farmers, various businesses in outward trade missions,” Charamba told NewsDay Business.

“As a result, some of them have actually secured markets here in Zambia. We continue to express our gratitude as an embassy that our ZimTrade is working.”

Charamba said she was impressed to see the number of companies which exhibited at Agritech Expo.

“Looking at the products that are here, they are quite impressive in that we have those that are tailor-made for small scale farmers and that can be a breakthrough here in Zambia, where our products are actually quite durable and user friendly to small scale farmers,” she noted.

“I have also seen that there are youth here who are exhibiting, and was actually stunned by the kind of innovation, to see that there are youths who have come up with new products that are tailor-made to suit farmer needs.

“I can see that with these kind of products that are here, can actually boost our trade relations between our two countries.”

Charamba said Zambia was Zimbabwe’s largest trading partner in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and fourth largest trading partner under Southern African Development Community.

“But the balance of trade is actually in favour of Zambia, meaning we need to bridge that gap. If we have more of these companies that come to set up business here, we would definitely maybe offset this trade deficit in our favour,” she said.

“We are quite happy to see that in terms of proximity, it is quite near to come to Lusaka and even access some of the provinces. I was impressed.”

She added: “I was talking to some of the young technologists, if I may call them, that they have already found business here in Zambia.

“To meet some of the needs of the small scale farmers as well as commercial farmers, they have managed to reach out to so many across the country, because this is a very important expo, where you see farmers converging from different parts of Zambia.

“By so doing, our products have been showcased, not only to farmers around Lusaka, but across the length and breadth of Zambia.”

Official data shows that Zimbabwe’s exports to Zambia have been on a growth trajectory.

For instance, they grew by 89%, from US$75 million in 2018 to US$142 million in 2023.

In January this year, exports to Zambia rose by 50%, from US$7,1 million to US$10,7 million. 

Zimbabwe has been exporting mineral fuels, iron and steel products and articles of paper, to Zambia while importing cereals, beverages and ceramic products from its neighbour.

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