Zimtrade Plans Virtual Trade Mission

Zimbabwean companies seeking to take up the Botswana market will next week have an opportunity to market their goods and services to buyers from the neighbouring country through participation in a virtual trade mission.

The mission has been organised by Zimbabwe’s national trade development and promotion organisation, ZimTrade in conjunction with its Botswana counterpart, the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC).

This development comes at a time when the national trade promotion agency has been on a regional and international whirlwind in pursuit of promoting exports in line with Government’s economic strategy of boosting and widening the country’s export basket.

The mission which is scheduled for August 20-21, will be held virtually in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines which dissuade the holding of physical meetings as a means to curb the spread of Covid-19 which has crippled the global economy.

It comes when the trade development and promotion organisation held another online dissemination seminar with prospective buyers from Mozambique.

In a statement, ZimTrade said Botswana offers huge potential which if exploited by Zimbabwean companies could boost the export cake.

“As one of the objectives of the virtual mission is to improve network between companies in the two countries, a matchmaking platform has been created where companies register to set up meetings with possible business partners in areas of interest,” reads the ZimTrade statement.

“Botswana is one of Zimbabwe’s traditional trading partners and local companies can take advantage of the proximity between the two countries to land products at a competitive price.

“Botswana’s Francistown, which is closer to Zimbabwe than the capital Gaborone can be used as an entry into the market,” said ZimTrade.

Registration of participating companies is ongoing on both sides and the Botswana list of companies registered so far mainly features those that are drawn from sectors such as the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), agricultural inputs and implements, as well as the services sector.

Expectations are that companies from other sectors will register in the coming days.

Botswana is a strategic export destination for Zimbabwean goods and services and has been on an upward increase since the inception of the New Dispensation in 2017.

In 2017, Zimbabwean companies exported goods worth US$19,2 million to Botswana but volumes

have been increasing since then to US$43 million in 2019.

The increase has largely been credited to the efforts by ZimTrade which seeks to nurture and promote trade between the two countries.

The Botswana market offers opportunities in sectors such as processed foods and fresh produce, agricultural implements and inputs, building material and mining supplies.

Zimbabwean companies will, however, have to contend with stiff competition from well-established South African companies who are dominant in the market.

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