ZIMTRADE will during next week’s edition of the 55th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), host an export awareness seminar aimed at promoting available trade opportunities in the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa).
The event, slated for April 23 at the ZITF 2014 VIP seminar room, is part of efforts by Zimtrade to help local industrialists and investors find ways of resuscitating defunct industries in Bulawayo.
Zimtrade in a statement said the seminar is expected to recommend strategies that could be used to exploit opportunities available in the Sadc and Comesa regions.
“The seminar will be a half-day event and its objectives are to disseminate trade opportunities that are available in the Sadc and Comesa regions and recommend strategies that can be used to exploit these opportunities, to impart knowledge on trade agreements, trade regulations and documentation,” part of the statement reads.
Presentations would be concentrating on export opportunities in regional markets such as exploring the northern Mozambique market and other emerging regional markets as well as assessing export readiness and understanding the Comesa rules of origin.
A recent Zimtarde survey revealed that 60% of Zimbabwe’s manufacturing companies we are not exporting their products due to inferior quality.
The survey also revealed that about 71,4% of companies that used to export five to 10 years ago, had stopped exporting due to various reasons, among them hassles of the exporting process, poor quality of products, high costs of production, restrictive labour regulations, lack of export incentives and support services.
Companies surveyed reportedly indicated that once the government comes up with export supporting policies, most firms will be able to increase their levels of exports as they had the capacity. The government has been urged to introduce zero duty on imports of raw materials to registered manufactures.
The Zimtrade survey also revealed that 52% of the surveyed companies were facing competition from foreign firms, with South Africa (34%) and China (33%) being the major threats.
The seminar comes amid several reports that Bulawayo industries were presently listed in a very critical condition.
Official statistics indicate that at least 84 companies closed shop in 2012, while a total of 64 companies were reported to be on the verge of collapse last year.