Zimbabwe is targeting effective particpation under the proposed Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) with calls for domestic industry to prioritise quality standards in order to enhance export competitiveness.

The country which is a member of COMESA and SADC is confident of deriving significant benefits from the implementation of the CFTA which is set to give member countries a wider market area with a combined gdp of around US$3.4 trillion.

Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Mike Bimha told captains of industry attending the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) business leaders conference that in order to enjoy the benefits under the CFTA local industry should enhance quality of products.

CBZ group chief executive officer, Mr Never Nyemudzo encouraged the local business to prioritise standards given their significance in securing funding and facilitating access to markets.

Despite the current low uptake of standards on the domestic market SAZ director general Dr Eve Gadzikwa noted her organisation is intesifying the standardisation efforts across all sectors including the SMEs sector.

Government has highlighted its commitment to the finalisation of the national trade policy as well as the national consumer protection bill and the national quality infrastructure policy as part of efforts to foster quality standards and industrialisation.