By Alois Vinga
TRADE promotion agency, ZimTrade has hailed the vast opportunities presented at the just-ended Global Expo Botswana 2023 amid calls for local companies to tap into the neighbouring country’s vast opportunities.
The remarks come after the recent participation of over 24 local companies at the largest trade fair in Botswana, where they directly engaged with retail buyers, wholesalers, and distributors as well as the public who took a keen interest in the products on display.
The engagements were facilitated by ZimTrade from October 11 – 14 2023 in the city of Gaborone.
In an update, the trade promotion agency said the Fair exposed the local companies to vast potential in the foreign markets.
“At the fair, participated by over seven other countries, such as Cyprus, South Africa, Angola, and Kenya, saw Zimbabwe winning the Best International Exhibitor, a further testimony on the successes of efforts to boost the visibility of Zimbabwean products and services in regional markets.
“The Expo also revealed success recorded by local companies in building strong brands in the market,” said ZimTrade.
The agency said local brands in the food processed sector such as tea and canned food evoked nostalgia in visitors to the Zimbabwe pavilion, demonstrating how developing recognizable, strong brands can benefit exporters over time.
The event also saw distributors asking for the products by brand name, with retailers alike expressing interest in carrying these brands in-store as they could market themselves owing to the strong brand names.
“This expansion of trade horizons has not only boosted Zimbabwe’s export figures but has also showcased its potential as an important regional player.
“From agricultural produce to mining commodities and manufactured goods, Zimbabwe’s export basket into Botswana has become increasingly diversified and reflective of its rich resource endowment,” said ZimTrade.
The diversification has allowed Zimbabwe to tap into new markets while minimizing the risks associated with relying on a single commodity’s export revenues.
As a result, Zimbabwean businesses have been able to capture a larger market share in Botswana, fostering economic growth and employment opportunities back home.
Botswana and Zimbabwe share cordial political relations that have cascaded into better trade relations; and as a result, the two countries have a bilateral trade agreement signed in 2018 which allows duty-free, quota-free access to certain goods under the agreement.
“Expanding the scope of bilateral trade, this agreement has paved the way for a diverse range of Zimbabwean goods to enter Botswana’s flourishing market, thereby enhancing economic cooperation between the two countries,” added ZimTrade.