Trade, investment indaba kicks off in Byo

Mduduzi Ncube

THE Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC)’s Trade and Investment Opportunities Conference kicked off at Holiday Inn in Bulawayo yesterday.

Secretary-general of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Wamkele Keabetswe Mene will be the guest of honour.

Delegates will include government representatives from agriculture, commerce and industry sectors, which are set to discuss the promotion of inter-Africa free trade and economic transformation on the continent.

ZNCC Matabeleland regional manager, Mduduzi Ncube said: “We want to promote trade; this conference is being held as a follow up to last year’s conference that was held during the COVID-19 era. The objective of this meeting is to also launch the ZNCC Electronic Certificates of Origin for ease of doing business under AfCFTA.”

The indaba is a follow up to the one held in 2021, which unpacked the AfCFTA policy.

“We are not promoting value chains and strategic partnerships under the AfCFTA treaty. As ZNCC we are prioritising the trade facilitation agenda through continuous stakeholder engagement. This year’s trade and investment conference aims at fostering strategic partnerships that will translate to the successful implementation of the AfCFTA throughout the African continent, hence the theme Bolstering Resilience and Innovativeness for Sustainable Growth,” Ncube said.

Discussions at the meeting will include Zimbabwe's industrial preparedness on implementing AfCFTA and elucidating protocols on goods and trade and the future of the continent.

Some of the ZNCC partners at the conference are NetOne, Econet, ZimTrade, Delta Beverages, the Trade Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme and African Export-Import Bank.

ZNCC Bulawayo chairperson Mackenzie Dongo said: “Africa must produce for its own consumption and export. Looking at the number of people in Africa (1,2 billion) and looking at how gifted Africa is with a lot of natural resources, with special emphasis on the Matabeleland region which has mineral resources and good cattle ranching, Africa ought to produce for export and own consumption.”

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