The ZimTrade Annual Exporters’ Conference was successfully held on Thursday 4 October. The event was attended by His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Minister of Industry and Commerce Honourable Nqobizitha M. Ndlovu among senior members of Government, several international trade experts and local executives from exporting businesses.
During his opening remarks, ZimTrade CEO Mr. Allan Majuru cited a large increase in confirmed orders at 2018 Fruit Logistica in Berlin as compared with 2017 as indicative of positive changes in the perception of Zimbabwe on the world market. “Last year, the people we facilitated to attend that fair managed $600,000 of deals. This year, we went to the same fair, and with the new dispensation in place, the companies we took secured $8 million in deals at the fair. It’s because now some issues have been made clear, and people are confident now that if they place an order there will be no disturbances and the order will come.” In terms of a way forward, Mr. Majuru appealed for Government to continue working towards a conducive exporting environment, including streamlined border processes and the provision of foreign currency to purchase crucial raw materials needed by exporters to meet their orders.
“Delays in processing foreign currency payments for purchase of critical raw materials is causing unnecessary production disruptions, as a result industry is losing export orders, further compounding the situation,” he said, adding that there is also a need to ensure that Zimbabwe positions itself better with key trading partners including the USA and the United Kingdom, especially following Brexit.
International speakers included Mr. Dev Chamroo from Maritius where he is a Senior Consultant for CITC Ltd, a consultancy firm providing advice to among others, governments, the private sector and NGOs. Mr. Chamroo is also a well-regarded strategist and the former CEO of Enterprise Mauritius – the Mauritian equivalent to ZimTrade.