Exporters urged to exploit trade pacts

Exporters urged to exploit trade pacts
Published: 27 July 2018
BUSINESSES venturing into export markets should take advantage of trade benefits offered by Zimbabwe's bilateral and regional agreements to grow their businesses.

Zimbabwe is a signatory to trade agreements with SADC and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa). Recently, the Government signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

Speaking on the sidelines of the 2018 Bulawayo edition of the Marketing and Branding for International Competitiveness (MBIC) training in Bulawayo yesterday, Zimtrade associate trainer, Mr Dennis Choguya, said trade agreements enable exporters to by-pass certain trade barriers. The training, which was organised by the national export promotion agency, Zimtrade, continues today.

"A trade agreement can mean we pay very little or no tariffs. It can also mean that our product is accepted better or it is exempt from certain taxes," Mr Choguya said.

"So, if you take advantage of trade agreements, it means by the time you venture into that export market, you would have paid less to access that market so you already have a cost advantage."

Mr Choguya said trade agreements give exporters price competitiveness as well as quicker and easier markets. He, however, bemoaned lack of knowledge and failure by most exporting organisations to get certified by foreign bodies. The trade trainer said it was important that exporters certify externally so that the regulatory bodies certify the quality of standards of goods especially given that most people hold an incorrect perception about Zimbabwe and the abilities of local companies.

"You can assume you have the right quality but your foreign clients do not know you. So, they will need a regulatory body to certify that your product is of the right quality. Certifying with foreign bodies like the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) and Tanzania Standards Bureau will go a long way in convincing external customers that this product has been seen, has been certified and is of the right quality," said Mr Choguya.

He also emphasised the need to create awareness especially at managerial level so that resources can be committed.

Mr Choguya stressed the need for companies to register their trademarks to protect their customers from receiving fake products. During training, most participating companies indicated that they have not registered their trademarks with intellectual property organisations.

"As an exporting company, you need to protect yourself and your customers from receiving fake products with a brand that resembles yours. If you trademark your brand, people know that they cannot abuse it," said Mr Choguya.-
- chronicle
Tags: Exporters,


Latest News

Latest Published Reports

Latest jobs