Look West says ZimTrade chief

The European Union offers better investment opportunities than Asia says ZimTrade Chief Executive Officer Priscilla Pilime.

Priscilla Pilime
Priscilla Pilime

Europe remains Zimbabwe’s major market, importing clothing, horticultural produce such as peas and furniture in contrast to Eastern countries mainly interested in exporting raw materials for processing in their countries.

Commenting on the recently inaugurated Zimbabwe-EU Information Centre (Zim-EBIC) in Harare, Pilime noted that Small to Medium Enterprises would benefit from improved knowledge about investment opportunities in Western countries.

Tariff concessions on Zimbabwean products going to the EU would give local entrepreneurs reason to visit the information centre scouting for business opportunities, she said.

Chiratidzo Mabuwa, deputy Minister of Trade and Commerce, said improved business relations with the EU would help accelerate Zimbabwe’s economic growth. “The EU is determined to assist Zimbabweans and I would implore the 28-member bloc to consider providing more developmental projects aimed at capacitating the manufacturing sector,” she said at the opening of the centre.

The main aim of Zim-EBIC is to increase the capacity of Zimbabwean business operators to establish mutually beneficial linkages with European counterparts. Aldo Dell’Ariccia, outgoing EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe said, the country’s vast resources and opportunities should be well managed and claim their share of the EU market.

“There must be good business policies and high standards of production for Zimbabwe to fully benefit from its potential,” he said, before castigating certain elements of the media for giving a wrong picture of Zimbabwe to the outside world.

Arancha Gonzalez, executive director International Trade Centre, said improved business with the EU would help Zimbabwe create the much needed jobs through the SMEs, many of which were owned by women.

She said the ICT was ready to assist the Ministry of Trade and Commerce as well as public and private sector stakeholders to create a sustainable and profitable market for cotton products across the entire cotton value chain.

Zimbabweans continue to benefit from EU support to various sectors of the economy despite the targeted measures against President Robert and members of his inner circle for human rights abuses.

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