Zimbabwean companies explore opportunities in Mozambique

By Simbarashe Tasekwa  

ZimTrade recently organised an outward seller mission to the Manica Province of Mozambique, where Zimbabwean businesses engaged key buyers in the market, as they prepare to fully exploit all opportunities available in the country.

The Zimbabwe Outward Seller Mission to Manica, which was held from 14-16 June in Chimoio, was attended by more than 20 Zimbabwean companies, comprised of manufacturers and distributors from sectors such as agriculture implements, building and construction, fast moving consumer goods, mining consumables and packaging materials

In their engagements with more than 100 potential buyers from the Manica Province, Zimbabwean businesses were told of vast opportunities in the market, with indications that consumers prefer local products due to their high quality.

Local companies were also told to take full advantage of political relations between Zimbabwe and Mozambique; and carve strong ties with their partners in the market.

The Manica Province State Secretary, His Excellence Edson Macuacua urged Zimbabwean companies to take advantage of the Zimbabwe Mozambique historical ties which date back to the liberation struggle to increase the Country ‘s exports to the neighbouring country.

He called on participants at the Outward Trade Mission to come up with programmes and agreements that cement the bilateral relationship between Zimbabwe and Mozambique in trade and commerce.

“This is a platform for sharing experiences and knowledge that will stimulate growth and relationships in businesses between the two countries.

“Our two Presidents have shown us the way and we should follow suit”, said the State Secretary.

Officiating at the ZimTrade Outward Trade Mission to Manica Province in Mozambique, Zimbabwe’s Consular General to Beira, Stephen Kudarawanda urged the business community to take advantage of the regional and continental trade agreements to market their products and services.

“Mozambique is Zimbabwe’s all-weather friend and is also a lifeline for Zimbabwe’s economy because of its strategic location.

“Our countries are both members of the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), SADC and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

“Both Zimbabwe and Mozambique are signatories to the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Trade Protocol, which stimulates and encourages trade by giving one another preferential treatment in the reduction or elimination of custom duties.

“These trade agreements allow us to trade with each other duty free and quota free on non-sensitive and exclusive products.

“Considering the good political relations between Mozambique and Zimbabwe, the Manicaland Province and Manica Province will help foster trade relations between the two nations and help improve Zimbabwe trade with Mozambique and beyond,” said Kudarawanda.  

During the conference, ZimTrade’s Operations Director, Similo Nkala, said Zimbabwe is one of the few countries that have seen exports growth during the past three years despite the Covid-19 induced national lockdowns.

“There is need for closer co-operation between the two countries. Zimbabwe is good in agriculture and need to work together with Mozambique to expand its agricultural activities.”

Manicaland and Manica Provinces enjoy cordial and political relationships.

Mutare’s proximity (about 90km by road) to Chimoio provides opportunities for increasing Zimbabwe’s into the province, which can be used as a gateway to the rest of Mozambique.

Despite the Covid-19 lockdown measures which saw national borders being closed for the greater part of 2020 and 2021, exports from Zimbabwe to Mozambique stood at US$407 million, against imports of US$211 million.

The exports consisted of US$102 million worth of processed foods, building and construction for US$50 million, and agricultural inputs and implements worth US$24,6 million.

Zimbabwe exports of value-added goods to Mozambique were dominated by sugar and sugar confectionery, tea and coffee, paper and packaging as well as timber products.

Among the top products Zimbabwe exports to Mozambique are tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes, iron and steel, ores, slag and ash, salt; sulphur; earths and stone; plastering materials, lime and cement, and sugars and sugar confectionery.

Other top export products include edible fruits and nuts; peel of citrus fruit or melons, coffee, maté and spices, natural or cultured pearls, precious or semi-precious stones, precious metals, metals clad as well as articles of stone, plaster, cement, asbestos, mica or similar materials.

Although exports are growing, there is room to export more, focusing on some top imported products in Mozambique that Zimbabwean companies can supply.

Mozambique imported products worth US$8.6 billion in 2021 globally.

This was dominated by tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes, ceramic products, ores slag and ash, residues and waste from the food industries; and wood and articles of wood.

Zimbabwean companies can tap into some of these imports and export to Mozambique.



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