9 Zim firms set for Angola

HARARE - Nine Zimbabwean firms are set to participate at the forthcoming Luanda International Trade Fair (LITF) in Angola next month.

The mission is part of Zimtrade’s strategy to enhance Zimbabwe’s exports to the oil rich southern African country.

The nine companies are involved in the manufacture of processed foods, furniture, clothing and textiles, household and electrical goods as well as the construction sector.
LITF is a multi-sectoral event that showcases consumer goods, capital goods, agricultural machinery, food and textiles among others.

Last year, 1 000 exhibitors from 35 countries participated.

This comes as the trade facilitation body recently released findings of research on the Angolan market carried out in May. The research revealed that Angola imports about 80 percent of its goods, with its import bill standing at $20,5 billion.

“Angola is, therefore, a lucrative market that Zimbabwean exporters could tap into,” said Zimtrade.

It added that Zimbabwean businesses can cash in on Angola’s thriving economy by investing in its various sectors, particularly manufacturing.

ZimTrade chief executive Sithembile Pilime recently said that local companies can export construction and steel products, farm produce, electrical goods and manufactured goods to Angola.

“Since the introduction of the multi-currency regime in 2009, Zimbabwe’s trade performance has not been satisfactory and the trade balance widened from $1, 3 billion in 2009 to $4, 1 billion in 2013,” she said while presenting market research findings on Angola.

“Increasing exports, particularly those of value-added products, will play a major role towards the reversal of this unsustainable situation,” she added.

Pilime noted that the former Portuguese colony — which is a member of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc), with a population of 20,8 million, a gross domestic product (GDP) of $130,4 billion and a GDP per capita of $6 500 — represents a significant potential for Zimbabwe’s export capacity.

“Angola is a fast emerging regional economy that has been growing phenomenally in recent years.

The country’s GDP has grown significantly since 2001 increasing by 11,1 percent in the decade to 2010.

“In 2013, the economy registered a growth rate of 5,1 percent, with 7,9 percent for 2014,” she said.

“This growth momentum is expected to continue in 2015, at a projected rate of 8,8 percent, as major public infrastructure investments come on stream,” Pilime said.

A number of other countries are also investing in Angola’s agricultural development, including China, Vietnam and Brazil. Brazil has offered the country a $2 billion loan for use in its energy and construction sectors.

Trade between Zimbabwe and Angola is based on the multi-lateral Sadc Trade Agreement, as both countries are signatories to this regional trading bloc.

According to ZimTrade statistics, trade balance between Zimbabwe and Angola over a four-year period (2010-2012) was in favour of Angola except for 2011, when there was an improvement in Zimbabwe’s exports to the country, leading to a positive trade balance of
$7 906 000.

“Zimbabwe has not been exporting to Angola as of 2012-2013 hence ZimTrade therefore seeks to re-establish Zimbabwe’s presence in the Angolan market and rebuild export market confidence, among others.”

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