The Sunday Mail
Kuda Bwititi Chief Reporter
Government is enhancing its engagement with local exporters to position them towards increased business as part of a vision to drive export revenue from US$7 billion by 2023 to US$14 billion in 2030.
Under the plan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade is working with ZimTrade to provide potential exporters with various forms of support to enable them to meet their export targets.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo said in a statement that the promotion and facilitation of exports remained core occupations of the Government under its economic diplomacy thrust.
“The promotion and facilitation of exports is a key function of my Ministry, not only as a major pillar of our overall economic diplomacy thrust in pursuit of Vision 2030, but in the context of Covid-19 (and) as a vital cog within our national effort to stabilise our currency and the broader economy to boost productivity across the board and to create meaningful employment for our people,” he said.
“The “7/14” target refers to our determination to boost export earnings to US$7 billion by 2023 and to US$14 billion by 2030.
“This will entail increasing national export earnings of goods and services by a minimum of 10 percent annually as well as improving our balance of payments position by way of enhanced import-substitution.”
Dr Moyo said Government was prepared to work with companies in all sectors of the economy and assist them to meet their export targets.
He said his Ministry was extensively training Zimbabwe’s diplomats in various missions to be better equipped to facilitate all aspects of business development and trade matters.
“This includes intensive exposure to and training on the vast preferential market-access opportunities arising from Zimbabwe’s membership of SADC, COMESA, the Tri-Partite Free Trade Area (SADC, COMESA and the East African Community) and, of course, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA),” said Dr Moyo.
“Formal trade arrangements between Zimbabwe and the European Union and between Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom offer extensive duty-free and quota-free market-access opportunities for our exporters.
“As we equip our diplomats with these new skills and trade investment-related performance targets, those deployed in a number of identified strategic countries or regions are being tasked to actively work towards significantly enhanced economic engagement and co-operation.”
Dr Moyo said he had recently visited a number of local companies to get a first-hand appreciation of the challenges they faced as well as explore strategies to grow exports.
Some of the companies toured include Tanganda Tea Estates, Trade Kings, Maka Resources, Lake Harvest and Padenga.
At Tanganda Tea Estates in Chipinge, Dr Moyo said the visit was to get an understanding of the agro-based export business focusing on tea, coffee, avocados and macadamia nuts.
The tour at Trade Kings gave the Minister insights into the manufacturing of detergents and household products as well as how the company could transform into a major exporter to regional countries.
Dr Moyo said Lake Harvest and Padenga Holdings, in Mashonaland West Province, had a potential to increase exports and expand operations.
Maka Resources in Ruwa, Harare manufactures irrigation equipment and grain-dryers for both the domestic and foreign markets.