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Zim and Bots companies in a virtual business engagement

LOCAL companies will next week interface with their Botswana counterparts in a virtual business engagement being organised by the country’s trade and export promotion organisation, ZimTrade, in partnership with the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC).

Zimbabwe’s trade with Botswana has in the past three years shown steady growth with Zimbabwe’ exports moving from US$19.2 million in 2017 to US$43.3 million in 2019.

A market survey conducted by ZimTrade in Botswana in 2019 revealed potential for local businesses to supply an array of products and services to Botswana.

These export opportunities are in sectors such as processed foods and fresh produce sectors, agricultural implements and inputs, building material and mining supplies.

For example, Zimbabwean companies have potential to export mainly processed foods such as pork products, tinned foods, cereals, milk and milk- based products, cordials, biscuits, and sweets.

The virtual trade mission, necessitated by Covid-19 and scheduled for 20 and 21 August is set to increase trade between the two neighbouring countries.

ZimTrade chief executive officer, Allan Majuru, said the new norm means companies that are looking to remain relevant in export markets should embrace technologies, which will guarantee continued engagements with international buyers.

“The prevailing environment in which we find ourselves operating in has called on businesses the world over to embrace use of the internet in doing business,” he said.

“Whereas the norm was to travel to different countries showcasing products and services at trade fairs and on trade missions, companies are having to do so through digital platforms.”

He said one of the objectives of the virtual mission is to improve network between companies in the two countries, adding a matchmaking platform has been created where companies register to set up meetings with possible business partners in areas of interest.

“Although registration of companies is still ongoing, the current list of Botswana companies is drawn from sectors such as fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), agricultural inputs and implements, and services sector,” he explained.

“Expectations are that companies in other sectors will also register in the coming days. Registration for Zimbabwean companies is still in progress. 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.”

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