Zimbabwe’s trade promotion body ZimTrade and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is capacitating small to medium enterprises in packaging and branding in order to penetrate exports markets.

Local products suffer on the export market due to poor branding and dull packaging therefore prejudicing the country of potential export revenue.

Henceforth, ZimTrade and COMESA organised a workshop to teach small business owners to brace modern trade practices including packaging so as to grow the country’s export base.

Mr Tatenda Marume of ZimTrade and Mr Fambaoga Myambo – COMESA’s Project Manager – spoke of the need to capacitate small business.

“We have decided to come up with this initiative so as to help SMEs to improve the packaging of their products because they are outcompeted on the international market,” said Mr Marume.

“The four Ps of marketing include pricing, product quality, promotion and packaging but the missing link for exporters has been packaging and branding hence the need for COMESA to inculcate SMEs on how they can improve product quality” said Mr Myambo.

Small business owners who participated in the workshop promised to improve the product appeal of their exports.

The coming in of the African Continental Free Trade Area is expected to increase competition of products on the continent and it is imperative that local companies play catch up in meeting or exceeding global export standards.