ZIMTRADE, the country’s export promotion body, has lamented failure by Zimbabwe to tap the potential in export of services, valued at $4,8 trillion globally in 2015.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
In its monthly newsletter, the body said in Zimbabwe the focus on exports over the years has largely been on tangible products and little has been given to service exports.
“The export of services is an emerging trend in the global trade arena which is growing rapidly in importance and in earnings received by companies,” ZimTrade said.
According to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), service exports have grown by an average of 3,2% per annum over the last five years.
In 2015, global service exports were valued at $4,8 trillion and accounted for 22,6% of the world’s total exports, according to WTO.
“These figures are indicative of the potential that exists in service exports for a country,” ZimTrade said.
ZimTrade said the initial investment required for the exporting of services was lower than in manufacturing, which makes it easier for small-to-medium enterprises to offer and export these services and ultimately lead to the growth of exports in this sector.
It also said regional trade could be increased through the export of services.
“As the world has become a global village, exporters need to be aware of the role of services in the functioning of global value chains and provide the relevant services,” the body said.
“In Zimbabwe, it is of paramount importance that service exports are increased. The export of services will promote trade and investment and ultimately lead to employment creation.”
In Zimbabwe, examples of services that could be exported include tourism, transport, telecommunications, construction, education and training, among others.
At the recently held ZimTrade Annual Exporters’ Conference, Industry and Commerce minister Mike Bimha, urged local companies to consider the export of services.
“The potential is there for Zimbabwe to export services such as tourism, financial, professional and educational services, among others”, Bimha said.
ZimTrade said an efficient service industry could lead to economic growth and contribute to an increase in the gross domestic products.
“ZimTrade is, therefore, encouraging existing and potential exporters of services to tap into this trillion dollar global market,” it said.