Zim targets UK market

HARARE - Zimbabwe is planning to take advantage of Britain’s decision to exit Europe and establish strong relations with its former coloniser.

Britain is expected to leave the European Union (EU) in the next few months and has signalled intention to strengthen bilateral and trade ties with its former colonies.

Allan Majuru, ZimTrade’s chief executive officer, said Zimbabwe has been making overtures to access the United Kingdom (UK) market following re-engagement efforts being spear-headed by treasury.

“Discussions are on-going and have been for some time. The efforts are to make sure that we don’t lose out on the UK market after Brexit,” he said.

This was after the British government in May this year, and for the first time in over 20 years, extended a direct commercial loan deal to Zimbabwe.

In partnership with Standard Chartered Bank, the UK government provided $100 million to be loaned to the private sector in Zimbabwe.

The southern African country last accessed British funding 20 years ago after relations turned sour, following the country’s chaotic land reform programme which displaced farmers, most of whom were of British origin.

The aftermath saw the UK government and its allies imposing sanctions on the Zimbabwean government, then led by former president Robert Mugabe.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, appointed following the forced resignation of Mugabe, has however been on a re-engagement drive to mend relations with the international community, including the British government.

Zimbabwe has for years struggled to obtain medium- to long-term international funding and the latest credit facility, according to Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya, goes a long way towards improving the competitiveness of companies

Majuru said Zimbabwe — which used to enjoy good trade relations with the UK before its rushed land repossession programme of the early 2000s — was looking at penetrating the UK through horticultural exports.

“At the moment we export to the Netherlands and they then export to the UK so our target to export directly to the UK as early as next year,” he said.

The ZimTrade boss highlighted that a ZimTrade delegation was due for a trip to the UK to cement the deal.

“We have been there and are looking at another trip there to establish routes and sources. This revolution will not pass us by,” Majuru said.

At the close of 2017, trade between the UK and Zimbabwe was negligible at below $200 million, with other Zimbabwean manufacturers expressing desire to export to the UK.

Earlier this year, the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) announced it was swamped with an overwhelming number of British businesspeople keen on exploiting business opportunities in Zimbabwe.

The UK’s Trade Director for Southern Africa in the DIT, Elena Williams, said her government was inundated with British businesspeople who are rushing for Zimbabwe.

British prime minister Theresa May also visited Africa for the first time this year since becoming prime minister in 2016. She flew to South Africa before travelling to Nigeria and Kenya as part of a trade mission aimed at boosting post-Brexit fortunes.

She said the UK wanted to “deepen and strengthen its global partnerships” as it prepared to leave the EU in 2019, pledging £4 billion in support for African economies, to create jobs for young people. The UK’s overseas aid budget totalled £13,9 billion in 2017, an increase of £555 million in 2016.

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Comments (5)

Chii chamunonova tengesera , maputi ne nzungu kumashopu echibhoyi ?, Hongu vanobvuma...ukazviidza wakapusa , havadi vanhu vanepfungwa. Dai zvakapusa Africa yese ichipinda , varipamberi. Kunotenga mazitye hongu sezvinoita ma nayijeriyeni. Hamusati masvika...rsa irimudhuza asi munoitadza. Vamwe Baba vanoti vane finiteki asi havawoni kuti hayisvike kwavanoda kwese panemabloka....ngavabude mu yukeyi. Kupinza Mari hongu , kubuditsa makata.

Kumhanya hakusi - 9 December 2018

Eyidhi bhajeti hayizvike ikoko. Vanenge vachiverenga zvinhu zvakaita se mihoro yavo , Mari yakawanda inoyenda kumakamba evarungu...kete kenyu. Mabhiriyoni maviri max pagore. Dai chirichokwadi takawanawo pondo yekuvaka kiriniki ku gokwe pasina musindo.

Hachizi chokwadi - 9 December 2018

ZimTrade is a quassi government firm officiated on by zanupf apologists who must tow the partisan patronage line all the chief is saying is hogwash dreams meant to appease the monster. If it was true that the UK International Trade Dept. is swamped overwhelmingly by people keen on exploiting business opportunities in Zimbabwe, May would have included Zimbabwe on her Africa tour. If the ZimTrade Chief was alive to world current affairs he would know that BREXIT is on a serious limbo right now as it may not even happen. The dude needs to stop dreaming and direct energies on pushing the government to make reforms on ease and cost of doing business so our products will compete price-and-quality-wise on the international arena.

Sinyo - 10 December 2018

I think its not time for such deals , until after Brexit. I also wish to know , how many African business people are in each of the four countries namely ; England , Scotland , NI and Wales , and doing well.....turnover above £130K pa, the pay for 3 staff members in London + pension contributions. Exclude care businesses or homes. Just for knowledge's sake.

Fair trade coffee - 10 December 2018

Ma bhueitishi ndo akawanda mu Zimbabwe - munofunga kuti vari ku platinum , gold , nevekutsvaga oyiri yemanga manga chiiko ?. Havauye feya feya kana pane zvicha netsa. Kana kumapurazi neku mhuka dzesango variko....via kumabhunu.

Cde feja feja Zongororo - 10 December 2018

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