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By Bulawayo Bureau
Zimbabwe is keen on growing its exports to Rwanda with market survey results by the national export promotion agency, ZimTrade, indicating that locals could ride on this destination to generate more earnings.
On Thursday last week, ZimTrade hosted a market intelligence information dissemination seminar focusing on the Rwanda market to prepare and equip local producers with knowledge regarding the vast export opportunities in that country. The intervention buttresses the country’s continued efforts to explore opportunities presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which came into force in January this year.Increasing trade with Rwanda is, thus, expected to enhance access to markets in the East African Community (EAC) and in turn increase Zimbabwe’s exports to the region with a combined GDP of more than US$177 billion.
“The services sector is a big deal in Rwanda and the opportunities there are endless. There is tourism also, as well as the education sector because Rwanda is looking for many programmes with Zimbabwe to come into its education sector,” ZimTrade export promotion manager, Mrs Vuyiswa Mafu, told the participants.”Zimbabwean companies will develop strategies to penetrate the Rwandan market and establishing new export supply chains.
“These strategies may include, but are not limited to, supply partnerships, investments opportunities, diversification opportunities, promotional events, establishing wholesaler/distributor agreements, exhibitions, trade fairs and trade missions.”
The Rwanda market survey follows the resolution to intensify cooperation between Rwanda and Zimbabwe that saw several Memoranda of Understanding being signed in March this year to cement bilateral relations at the inaugural virtual session of the Joint Permanent Commission on Cooperation (JPCC).Rwanda has experienced high economic growth over the years and is fast becoming a strong economy in Africa, with an average of seven percent year-on-year real GDP growth since 2010. Despite having a strong policy framework, Rwanda’s industrial sector is still small. The survey by ZimTrade has, thus, sought to drive impetus on exports of processed foods, pharmaceuticals, clothing, construction, horticulture, leather and leather products, agriculture inputs and implements, and services sectors.
The seminar sought to capacitate local exporters through exposing them to the huge opportunities in Rwanda’s fast moving consumer goods, tourism, education, agriculture, building and construction and furniture sectors.
Last month, ZimTrade facilitated for local companies to participate on an Outward Seller Mission to the DRC where vast opportunities were identified in Lubumbashi.