via Zim EU exports down 29% – NewsDay Zimbabwe January 28, 2016
Zimbabwe’s exports to the European Union (EU) were down by 29% for the first 10 months of 2015 due to a slump in diamond and cane sugar exports to the bloc, latest data has shown.
For the 10-month period from January to October 2015, Zimbabwean exports to Europe stood at €350 million from €493 million.
Diamond exports to Europe went down to €18,5 million for the period under review compared to €95,8 million in 2014, while cane sugar exports in 2015 stood at €76,1 million from €115,2 million in 2014.
During the period leguminous vegetables — shelled, unshelled and chilled — exports to the EU were €17,7 million compared to €14,5 million in the prior period in 2014, citrus fruit — dried or fresh — exports raked in €23,6 million in 2015 from €22,3 million. Tea figure went up to €10 million in 2015 from €5,7 million in 2014.
Other raw hides and skin — fresh or preserved — exports generated €19,7 million in 2015 compared to €13,8 million in the whole of 2014.
Despite the fall in diamonds and cane sugar exports, EU ambassador to Zimbabwe Phillippe van Damme said the “positive side is that the country’s exports to EU are diversified and mostly agricultural products”.
Tobacco exports slumped to €83 million during the 10-year period from €99 million in 2014, he said.
Van Damme said exports for Zimbabwe to the EU were diversified and included fresh wine grapes, cut flowers and flower buds, carrots, turnips, salad beetroot, cabbages, cauliflower and stationery, among others.
He said the diversification in exports to EU proved the country has professionals in the agricultural sector and was able to meet the sanitary and phytosanitary standard of EU. Van Damme said Zimbabwe could regain its lost market share in EU, as it has professionals, who can do good standard work.
Zimbabwe and EU are working together on various projects that include the €234 million national indicative programme which focuses on health and other issues. The country has re-engaged the bloc resulting in the removal of some restrictive measures following the thawing of relations between Zimbabwe and the EU after the former was accused of allegedly trampling on human rights of its citizens.