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Zim In Pursuit Of Rwandan Markets: ZimTrade

By Tendai Mukaro
ZimTrade has begun a market survey in Kigali to pave way for Zimbabwean companies to trade in Rwanda.
This follows Zimbabwe’s pursuit of opportunities availed to it through  the African Continental Free Trade agreement.
Zimbabwe has signed several memorandum of understanding in March this year to strengthen relations between Zimbabwe and Rwanda and the ongoing market survey intends to access some of the opportunities availed by these agreements.
In a press statement, Zimtrade said Zimbabwe had signed several agreements with Rwanda.
“The signed agreements include the Rwanda Development Board and ZimTrade co-operation whose objective is to promote mutually beneficial trade between the two countries,” read part of the statement.
“To unlock opportunities presented by some of these agreements, the ongoing market survey will identify sector specific opportunities, compliance needs as well as route to market that will help Zimbabwean companies land in Rwanda with ease.
“The survey will focus on processed foods, pharmaceuticals, clothing, construction, horticulture, leather and leather products, agriculture inputs and implements, and services sectors.”
Zimtrade said Zimbabwean companies would have to strategize in order to penetrate the Rwandan market.
“From the findings of this exercise, Zimbabwean companies will develop strategies to
penetrate the Rwandan market and establishing new export supply chains,” read part of the statement.
“These strategies may include, but are not limited to, supply partnerships, investment opportunities, diversification opportunities, promotional events, establishing wholesaler/distributor agreements, exhibitions, trade fairs and trade missions.”
ZimTrade chief executive officer Allan Majuru, credited President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s 2019 National Export Strategy for being behind the market choices being taken on the Rwandan ongoing market survey.
“These activities and market choices are driven by the National Export Strategy launched by President Mnangagwa in 2019, whose target is to grow Zimbabwean exports to US$7 billion by 2023 and US$14 billion in 2030,” said Majuru.
Zimtrade said Rwanda was strategically positioned at a central location in the region.
“Increasing trade with Rwanda will avail access to markets in the EAC and in turn increase Zimbabwe’s exports to the region with a combined GDP of more than US$177 billion,” said Mujuru.
“Rwanda is a hub for a rapidly integrating Africa and with its central location in the region, is part of the East African Community Common Market and Customers Union which has a market potential of over 132 million people. 
“Further to this, Rwanda has experienced high economic growth over the years and is fast becoming a strong economy in Africa, with an average of seven percent year-on-year real GDP growth since 2010”. 
“Despite having a strong policy framework, Rwanda’s industrial sector is still small, presenting opportunities for Zimbabwean businesses in Rwanda in areas such as agriculture, health, education, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, ICT, packaging, clothing and textile.”
Robert Tapfumaneyi