25 firms to exhibit at Zambian trade fair

ZimTrade chief executive officer, Allan Majuru

Over 25 Zimbabwean companies are scheduled to exhibit local products and services at Zambia’s largest trade fair, scheduled for August 2-7 2023 in Lusaka, as the Second Republic gears up efforts to establish a strong presence in regional markets.

The participation of local companies at the Zambia Agricultural and Commercial Show (ZACS), which is facilitated by the national trade development and promotion organisation, ZimTrade, is designed to cement profitable relationships between local exporters and leading distributors in the market.

ZimTrade chief executive officer, Allan Majuru, said the focus on Zambia followed spirited efforts by the Government to unlock economic opportunities from Zimbabwe’s good political relations with countries in the region and the entire African continent.

“There have been several high-level engagements with countries in the region over the past few months, all designed to strengthen synergies between private sectors in the context of economic diplomacy.

“The participation of local companies at Zambia’s international trade fair will thus feed into ongoing activities and will contribute towards the growth of Zimbabwe’s share of the African market.

Mr Majuru further said Zambia was emerging as a potential leading trade partner in the region and offered diversified export opportunities for local companies.

“When looking at the structure of Zambia, in terms of its requirements and consumer tastes, there are many low-hanging fruits that local companies must take advantage of.

“Zimbabwe is home to some of the top-quality products, such as processed food, protective clothing, and agricultural inputs and implements, all of which are in demand in Zambia.

“The participation of local companies at the scheduled trade fair will thus allow for deepened linkages with distributors in the market, and we are expecting deals worth millions (US$) to be concluded,” said Mr Majuru.

Zambia is a traditional market for Zimbabwe due to the existing bilateral trade agreement that exists between the two countries.

The two countries are also signatories to the SADC and COMESA and are working actively to reduce barriers to trade imposed by the reduction or elimination of tariffs, quotas, and other non-tariff barriers.

Figures show that Zambia is emerging as one of the leading destinations for Zimbabwean products in the region, with exports to the market growing from US$58 million to US$90 million, representing a 54 percent growth, according to Zimstat.

Whilst local companies have sustained export growth to Zambia, Majuru said a market survey of Zambia conducted by ZimTrade revealed that there is room to grow Zimbabwe’s share of the market as consumers consider Zimbabwean products as high quality when compared to competition.

“Consumers consider Zimbabwean products as higher quality when compared to what competition is offering and creating strong business linkages between our private sector will make it easy to sustain the export growth.

“The participation of local companies at ZACS will bridge the gap between local exporters and distributors in the market, including establishing new partnerships that will take Zimbabwean products across Zambia,” he said.

Zimbabwean companies participating at ZACS are drawn from sectors with huge potential for export growth into Zambia.

These include fast-moving consumer goods, agricultural inputs and implements, leather and leather products, protective clothing, building and construction.

The service sector will also be represented by companies in engineering service, finance, insurance, and education.

The 95th edition of the trade show will be running under the theme, “Inclusive Economic Transformation”.

Findings of the market survey conducted by ZimTrade show that Zambia offers high potential for Zimbabwean products and services in, for example, processed foods, agriculture, and mining sectors.

The survey revealed that some local companies are already servicing the market, with processed foods that are known to have better quality compared to the competition.

Taking advantage of these products already in the Zambian market, there is a huge potential for Zimbabwe to supply products and services to the Zambian market at low tariff rates, riding on trade agreements.

Further, there is increasing demand in Zambia’s mining provinces for fast-moving consumer goods that include processed foods and beverages, personal care products and toiletries.

Zambia is predominantly a copper mining country, with six percent of the world’s reserves and the second largest copper producer in Africa after the DRC.

Mining is a growing sector in Zambia, with several projects being commissioned annually, especially in the Copperbelt Province.

This presents opportunities for local companies to supply personal protective equipment, mining equipment, and mining consumables.

Other sectors with potential include the services sector with potential in transport, plant maintenance, engineering, instrumentation, environmental management, and artisanal services like quantity surveying.

There are also opportunities to offer services to mines.  

Typical services that mines seek include outsourced labour, such as management advisory, legal, marketing, banking and finance, security and cleaning services.

Further to this, there is potential for Zimbabwe to supply products and services to the Zambian market at low tariff rates, riding on the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) trade agreements that the two countries are signatories to.

For example, COMESA implemented the Simplified Trade Regime (STR) to help small traders to benefit from the preferential rates enjoyed by commercial traders when importing or exporting goods within the COMESA trading bloc. Zimbabwe has an agreement on the STR with Zambia and Malawi.

The STR is a customs clearance procedure used by small-scale cross-border traders importing or exporting goods from one COMESA Member State to the other.


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