BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
ZIMBABWEAN firms which recently attended the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’s Mining Week say they are hopeful of generating business from the trade forum.
ZimTrade director operations Phillip Phiri told journalists on the sidelines of the Zambia market survey results seminar held in Bulawayo yesterday that orders worth US$2,2 million were currently under consideration.
“We took about 10 companies there and from those companies, quite a significant amount of business was generated and some orders that are actually (being negotiated) at the moment and the orders that were confirmed at the DRC mining week was actually US$560 000,” Phiri said.
“We have got more than US$2,2 million orders that are under negotiation from the DRC exhibition we took part in. To me, that’s a step in the right direction in terms of Zimbabwean exports,” he said.
Addressing participants at the event, Phiri said Zimbabwe exported products worth US$66 million to Zambia in 2018 less than half what Harare imported from Lusaka.
“Zimbabwe exported products to Zambia worth US$66 million and we imported from Zambia $177 million, leaving us with a deficit of US$111 million. As ZimTrade, we are not happy with that figure at all and we are saying we want to work with you,” Phiri said.
Speaking during the same event, another ZimTrade official, Ronald Katsande encouraged companies in the fast moving consumer goods and mining supplies sectors
to take advantage of opportunities in the vast Zambian market.
He said Zimbabwe was favourably situated to benefit from Zambia’s economic growth considering its proximity to its northern neighbour.
Zambia has a population of 17 million and a GDP per Capita of US$1 552.
Phiri told journalists that for companies to penetrate the Zambian market they should improve the quality of their products.
“This is because one of the things that is a major problem right now, in terms of us being competitive in the export markets, is the quality of our products.
Number two, is the price issue; the price issue emanates from a lot of issues that start from production,” he said.