Zim to establish retail shops in foreign countries

The Ministry of Industry and International Trade said the shops, to be established early next year, will replace bonded warehouses that failed to fulfill their mandate of helping companies enter new markets.

Pilot retail shops will be opened in the Far East and some attractive regional and international countries such as South Africa.

“These shops will sell and market Zimbabwean goods,” the ministry’s permanent secretary, Retired Colonel Christian Katsande told New Ziana.

“We hope to have the shops operational by next year. Such organised trade will help the country penetrate new markets and increase its export earnings.”

The ministry was also working closely with the country’s trade promotion body, ZimTrade, and other relevant stakeholders, to ensure the success of the project.

Zimbabwe came up with the idea of bonded warehouses a few years ago, but the programme did not take off as anticipated due to a number of logistical problems.

Under the latest development, locals exporting to a particular country will be encouraged to have their goods sold at registered Zimbabwean retail shops.

This initiative will help the country market its products in a systematic and more organised way, boosting foreign currency generation.

Zimbabwe has vast natural resources such as minerals, fertile soils and an experienced manpower but due to a combination of factors such as forex shortages, a difficult macro-economic environment and poor trade marketing, its exports hover just below US$2 billion annually.

Israel, a small country with fewer resources than Zimbabwe, generates about US$30 billion exports per year.

In 2005 Zimbabwe’s exports were estimated at US$150 million and imports at US$65 million.

During the 2000 period, exports stood at about US$40 million while imports were just over US$100 million. ‘ New Ziana.

December 2006
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