Explore regional markets

SMALL to Medium Enterprises in the clothing sector have been urged to explore regional markets so as to enhance the profitability of their businesses.

ZimTrade associate trainer Mr. Dennis Choguya said the performance of the country’s clothing sector was at its lowest level largely due to the influx of second hand products and unavailability of raw materials.

“At the most I would say the performance of the clothing sector is not looking good. It has gone down a bit. It has been affected by a number of issues such as second hand clothes . . . now that the Government has put into effect a law to ban the importation of second hand clothes maybe it could help.

“They (second hand clothes) are certainly taking the greater chunk of the market, which is also affected by the unavailability of locally available raw materials. Even sewing threads sometimes are difficult to come by because the companies that used to supply those materials closed down or are facing collapse,” said Mr Choguya.

He said players in the clothing sector should use available information sources such as the Zimbabwe Trade Portal to access export readiness and to get information on various researches that have been done in other markets.

“If they (SMEs) manage to export some of their products they will be able to get more revenue and maybe sustain their businesses better given that at the moment the local environment is a bit depressed.

“We are quite aware that some of them may not be ready to export so what we are basically doing is to create awareness on the need to export so that they learn of the various factors that they need to consider in their businesses for them to be deemed export ready,” said Mr Choguya.

He said there was a need for the SMEs to improve on the uniqueness of their products so as to have a competitive edge as well as ensuring they have the requisite certification of origin.

“It’s easier to start (exports) regionally because taste is likely to be the same. We already have one SME that is exporting to Zambia, that’s a good start. As for Mozambique their market and industry may not have grown that much but obviously there is potential . . . there is a lot of mining in Mozambique and Zambia so those are potential areas.

“Even the Namibian industry is not that well up in the region so they can explore it. Maybe for markets like Swaziland it could be difficult given that there is more affinity to their traditional attires compared to formal wear . . . Botswana is also a potential market as it imports most of its clothes from South Africa so there is a gap,” said Mr Choguya.

He also encouraged SMEs to utilise trade missions to exhibit products to potential buyers.

“You would notice there are outward trade missions where companies have to go and exhibit their products in other countries and we are encouraging them to put money aside so that they are able to participate. More importantly we are also encouraging them to remain constant in terms of quality because out there export markets are unforgiving in general,” said Mr Choguya.

He said clothing players should form consortiums for the procurement of raw materials from other countries.

“They should bring in imported fabric, convert it into Zimbabwean and then export it, taking advantage of issues of Southern African Development Community certificate of origin and they pay less duty when they export it to countries in the region and so on.

“We have also encouraged them to use the simplified trade regime where as long as they are exporting goods which are $1 000 and less they do not pay duty, it’s a gap that becomes created by the Government,” said Mr Choguya. Source Sunday News.  To read further click

Publish Date: Monday 28 November 2016



188 Sam Nujoma Street Avondale Harare, Zimbabwe

Tel: 263-4 369330-41, 263-867700074

E-mail: info@zimtrade.co.zw


48 Josiah Tongogara Street Btwn 3rd and 4th Avenue Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

Tel: 263-9 66151, 62378, 263-8677000378

E-mail: info@zimtrade.co.zw

Subscribe to our Newsletter

This is a service of ZimTrade.