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Energising Zimbabwe's Export Growth

Republic of Zimbabwe



By Alex Mutandi

COMPANIES PLANNING to penetrate and increase their footprint in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) market are set to benefit from the ZimTrade organised Inward Buyer Mission, scheduled for Harare from 29-31 May 2024.

The Mission, organised by ZimTrade, is in line with Government’s efforts to strengthen Zimbabwe’s economic relations with all countries on the continent, particularly Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states.

During the 3-day programme, leading buyers from DRC will connect with Zimbabwean suppliers, with a special focus on bountiful opportunities in sectors such as mining supplies and consumables, engineering services, building and construction, agriculture, and fast-moving consumer goods.

Over the past few years, ZimTrade has organised several business-linkage programmes to connect local suppliers with buyers in Democratic Republic of Congo, which has resulted in sustained growth of exports into the market.

According to the Trade Map, the total trade between Zimbabwe and Democratic Republic of Congo rose from US$32 million in 2018 to US$84 million in 2022 and the balance of trade has been in favour of Zimbabwe during that period.

Zimbabwe’s main exports to the Democratic Republic of Congo during the period under review included coke and semi-coke of coal; coal; packaging; tubes, pipes and horses; mining consumables and supplies.

Zimbabwe’s imports from Democratic Republic of Congo in 2022 was US$3,5 million mainly made up of cobalt oxides and hydroxides, self-propelled bulldozers, graders, concrete mixer lorries and crane lorries.

The DRC’s growing population and urbanization create a significant market for FMCG products like food, beverages, and household products.

The DRC economy is mainly driven by mining sector.

The DRC’s thriving mining industry requires a steady supply of high-quality mining equipment, explosives, and consumables.

Zimbabwean manufacturers are well-positioned to meet this demand.

With a focus on safety, DRC mines require reliable PPE suppliers.

Zimbabwean companies can capitalize on this demand and become the supplier of choice.

The DRC’s mining and infrastructure projects also require specialized engineering expertise, which Zimbabwean companies can provide.

Further to this, DRC imports substantial amounts of sugar and agricultural products, presenting opportunities for Zimbabwean farmers and sugar producers.

The DRC’s demand for meat and dairy products creates a market for Zimbabwean livestock farmers and processors.

By meeting the necessary requirements and offering high-quality products and services, Zimbabwean exporters can capitalize on the demand for mining supplies, PPE, engineering services, FMCGs, sugar, agriculture produce, and livestock.

To access the market, Zimbabwean companies need to take advantage of the strong political relations between the two countries to build economic relations. 

The two countries are members of SADC regional economic bloc providing a platform for companies to trade duty free and quota free on a reciprocity basis on qualifying products.



To tap into the DRC market, Zimbabwean exporters must meet the following requirements:

  • Product certification: Ensure products meet DRC standards and regulations.
  • Labeling and packaging: Comply with DRC labeling and packaging requirements.
  • Documentation: Obtain necessary documentation, including commercial invoices, certificates of origin, and customs clearance documents.
  • Payment terms: Negotiate favorable payment terms with DRC buyers.
  • Logistics and transportation: Ensure efficient transportation and logistics arrangements.
  • Compliance with DRC regulations: Familiarize yourself with DRC’s import regulations, taxes, and duties.

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