ZimTrade has assured local exporters that bottlenecks that have been curtailing export growth including access to affordable trade finance, capital expenditure and working capital will be a thing of the past as they are working to find a solution.
Speaking at the ZimTrade Annual Exporters conference currently underway in Harare, ZimTrade Board chairperson Lance Jena said ZimTrade and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe are taking steps to address funding problems currently facing exporters.
ZimTrade would like to assure our constituency (the exporters) that we will work to ensure that a solution is found to these challenges.
With reference to the issues of affordable finance, ZimTrade and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe are taking steps to address that challenge,” said Jena.
He added that they have brought in a Standards and Quality resource person from Kenya to highlight learning points from the Kenyan experiene on the importance of standards in trade and exports.
Jena called on local businesses to strive to build their internal capacity to be able to compete in the global export market.
He further highlighted the potential exists in the agro-processing and horticulture which he said are low hanging fruits that only needs to be energized.
“On 10 April 2016, ZimTrade signed a Memorandum of Understanding with PUM, a group of Retired Senior Experts from Netherlands. This cooperation, I am glad to report, continues to provide technical assistance to existing potential exporters in agriculture, agro-processing and other industries,” said Jena.
Zimbabwe has significantly lowered the trade deficit from $3,5 billion in 2015 to $2,4 billion in 2016 with the eight months to August 2017 having recorded $1,3 billion which could rise to $2 billion by end of year.
Jena said following the adoption of the 100 day Rapid Results Initiative, they have been able to identify institutional bottlenecks which are militating against growth of exports including complex procedures administered by multiple regulatory agencies, high cost of production, limited access to affordable long term finance and contralization of agencies in major cities.
To address this, Jena said some Statutory Instruments have already been amended, though he reckoned that progress has been slow in dealing with other bottlenecks.