zimtrade1.jpgRegional trade promotion body, Zimtrade is set to lead a delegation of local companies to participate in the Zambia International Trade Fair that will be held from the 29th June to the 5th of July this year.  

The country’s participation in the Zambian fair is part of efforts to promote intra-regional trade in line with the regional integration agenda, which has been adopted by the country and its neighbours.

Zambia is Zimbabwe’s second largest trading partner and lucrative market in the region.

Trade between the two countries is governed by the COMESA and SADC trade regimes.

Zimtrade Chief Executive Officer, Mr Chrispen Tsvarai said local companies used to participate in the Zambian Agriculture and Commodities Fair but the body has now gone a step further in exploring opportunities up North in Ndola, the commercial and industrial hub of the Copperbelt Province.

“We want to continue to nature exports, it is an ongoing process. Although companies have been constrained to produce for the local market, we hope that as capacity utilisation improves, there will be a wider market for local products,” said Mr Tsvarai.

In 2010, Zimbabwe’s exports to Zambia amounted to US$120 million while imports were worth US$90 million, reflecting a trade balance of US$30 million in Zimbabwe’s favour.

The trade fair will therefore present an opportunity to increase market share in Zambia and further enhance trade with that country.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe has acquired permanent exhibition space at the Yiwu Africa Commodity Exchange, which is located in the Chinese city of Yiwu.

According to Zimtrade, the development will enable potential Chinese buyers to assess samples of raw materials available locally and source directly from the country instead of through middle men.