EU to launch business information centre in Harare

via EU to launch business information centre in Harare | The Zimbabwean 25 July 2014

The European Union (EU) will on August 1 launch the Zimbabwe-EU Information Centre (Zim-EBIC), a new initiative that will allow local businesses to access trade information from the western regional bloc.

In a statement, the EU said the Euro 3 million information hotspot was part of its Support to Trade and Private Sector Development project implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC).

It is expected to contribute to the promotion of trade and private sector development between the EU and Zimbabwe.

“It (the project) will also assist in strengthening the capacities of key actors like intermediary organisations and business associations in order to provide better Business Development Services to their members,” said Aldo Dell’Ariccia, Head of the EU Delegation in Zimbabwe.

Dell’ Ariccia will launch the project together with Mike Bimha, Minister of Industry and Commerce.

“The establishment of the centre specifically aims at creating mutually beneficial linkages between Zimbabwean businesses and European counterparts. It also seeks to act complementary to the public and private sector agencies of EU Member States and Zimbabwe,” read the EU statement.

The EU said Zim-EBIC was set up within the local ZimTrade’s trade information centre located in Mount Pleasant, Harare.

It is envisaged to assist exporters, among them small-to-medium enterprises, “to easily access market information, including such tools as the Market Access Databases, the Export Help Desk and EU publications”.

EU-Zimbabwe relations are thawing following targeted restrictions placed on Zimbabwe in 2002.

The EU is set to resume directly engaging with Harare in November this year, heralding the complete removal of the targeted measures.

The bloc imposed the restrictive measures following its concerns around widespread claims of property and human rights abuses, electoral fraud and bad governance by President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) government which in 2000 embarked on a controversial land redistribution programme that displaced close to 5,000 commercial white farmers.