Zimbabwean companies urged to tap into Zambian market

Zimbabwean companies urged to tap into Zambian market 

By Kudakwashe Tirivavi 

Local companies are set to benefit from the Zimbabwe Outward Seller Mission to Kitwe, Zambia, scheduled for 12-14 October this year. 

The Outward Seller Mission, organised by ZimTrade, is designed to strengthen linkages between Zimbabwean exporters and buyers in Kitwe, which serves as Zambia’s hub for mining activities in minerals such as copper, cobalt, and emerald. 

The Mission will start with a business conference (12 October), followed by a series of business-to-business meetings and company visits that will end on 14 October. 

Sectors that are targeted to participate at the programme include processed foods, building and construction, agricultural implements, protective clothing, and mining and mining supplies. 

Services sector such as finance, insurance, and education are also targeted for participation in the programme. 

Zambian market overview 

Zambia is predominantly a copper mining country, with six percent of the world’s reserves and the second largest copper producer in Africa after the DRC. 

Mining is a growing sector in Zambia, with several projects being commissioned annually, especially in the Copperbelt Province. 

Zambia’s economy is dominated by copper mining, which generates more than 70 percent of the country’s foreign currency earnings and makes up around 14 percent of the Gross Domestic Product, according to a 2019 study from the African Development Bank. 

Copper products from mines contributed US$8.5 billion to Zambia’s overall exports of US$11.2 billion in 2021, according to Trade Map. 

Zambian copper exports have increased by over 30 percent from 2017, rising from US$ 6.1 billion in 2017. 

Apart from its vibrant mining sector, Zambia is strategically positioned as a gateway into the central African markets such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Central African Republic and is one of the key markets in SADC for businesses looking to increase brand awareness, generate new ideas and form new partnerships. 

For Zimbabwean companies, the mining sector in Zambia provides opportunities to supply diversified products and services. 

A market survey conducted by ZimTrade in May 2019 revealed opportunities for local businesses to tap into the growing market in Zambia’s mining sector. 

During the market survey, buyers in some of the leading mines revealed some of the products and services that have a ready market in Zambia which include; capital plant equipment for comminution such as primary and secondary crushers, flotation cells, gearless drives, grinder mills, classifiers and concentrators. 

Other capital plant equipment required in Zambian mines include, separators, material handling feeders, mine ventilation, draglines, tyres, mining support vehicles, drills and earth moving equipment and power generation machinery. 

Some of the buyers also enquired on suppliers for electrical equipment and consumables that include transformers, electric motors, cables, batteries, ventilation fans and general electrical consumables. 

For local companies in the oil industry, enquiries were forwarded for supply of fuels and lubricants. 

Mines with active projects for exploration expressed interest to import project materials such as structural steel and cement as well as materials used for processes that include aluminium powder, ammonia, anodes and cathode, caustic soda, coal and cobalt sulphate. 

Apart from exporting tangible products, there is also scope to offer services to mines. 

Typical services that mines seek include outsourced labor, such as management advisory, legal, marketing, banking and finance, security and cleaning services. 

Other services with potential include transport, plant maintenance, engineering, instrumentation, environmental management and artisanal services like quantity surveying. 

Further to this, there is an increasing demand in Zambia mining provinces for fast moving consumer goods that include processed foods and beverages, personal care products and toiletries. 

Some local companies are already servicing the market, with processed foods that are known to have better quality compared to competition. 

Taking advantage of these products already in the Zambian market, there is a huge potential for Zimbabwe to supply products and services to the Zambian market at low tariff rates, riding on the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) trade agreements that the two countries are signatories to. 

For example, COMESA implemented Simplified Trade Regime (STR) to help small trader to benefit from the preferential rates enjoyed by commercial traders when importing or exporting goods within the COMESA trading bloc. Zimbabwe has an agreement on the STR with Zambia and Malawi. 

The STR is a Customs Clearance procedure used by small scale cross border traders importing or exporting goods from one COMESA Member State to the other. 

STR is used when the small-scale cross border trader is exporting goods valued at US$1000.00 or less per consignment. 

However, the goods should be listed on the COMESA STR Common List.



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