Busi­ness urged to in­crease di­a­logue

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Bianca Mlilo Busi­ness Re­porter

BUSI­NESSES in Zim­babwe should in­crease di­a­logue with the Gov­ern­ment to fa­cil­i­tate ex­ports that will boost earn­ings for the coun­try, an ex­pert has said.

Speak­ing on the side­lines of a re­cent mar­ket­ing and brand­ing work­shop in Bulawayo, a trade com­pet­i­tive­ness ex­pert, Dr Jacky Char­bon­neau, said di­a­logue be­tween key stake­hold­ers was im­per­a­tive if Zim­bab­wean com­pa­nies were to make it in the ex­port mar­ket.

A train­ing programme by the In­ter­na­tional Trade Cen­tre (ITC) is be­ing con­ducted in the coun­try tar­get­ing small to medium en­ter­prises (SMEs) and estab­lished com­pa­nies keen to ex­ploit ex­port mar­kets.

The ITC has fa­cil­i­tated cre­ation of a Trade In­for­ma­tion Por­tal (TIP), which was de­vel­oped un­der the EU-funded Trade and Pri­vate Sec­tor De­vel­op­ment Programme (TPSDP).

The TIP, launched in Zim­babwe in June this year, is an on­line plat­form, which pro­vides a com­pre­hen­sive, sin­gle-point ac­cess of up-to-date trade, in­vest­ment, eco­nomic and reg­u­la­tory in­for­ma­tion.

Dr Char­bon­neau said their first port of call would be vo­ca­tional train­ing — build­ing the aware­ness of en­ter­prises, fol­lowed by skills de­vel­op­ment, which in­volved map­ping the way for­ward after iden­ti­fy­ing tar­get mar­kets.

“From there on comes the need to sup­port the busi­ness by en­ter­tain­ing di­a­logue with the Gov­ern­ment, with the Zim­babwe Rev­enue Author­ity, the Stan­dards As­so­ci­a­tion of Zim­babwe, as well as bank­ing and fi­nance in­sti­tu­tions,” he said.

“This is done be­cause en­ter­prises, which are ready to ex­port, need to have fi­nanc­ing and sim­pli­fied ex­port pro­ce­dures to be able to go ef­fec­tively to the mar­ket with­out hav­ing to fill a num­ber of pa­pers and go­ing through a num­ber of com­plex pro­ce­dures.”

Dr Char­bon­neau said this would al­low Zim­babwe to com­pete on an equal foot­ing with its ma­jor com­peti­tors in­clud­ing in the neigh­bour­ing coun­tries.

He said mar­ket­ing and brand­ing was a key global busi­nesses ac­tiv­ity, with about 15 coun­tries hav­ing car­ried out ca­pac­ity build­ing work­shops.

The work­shops were in­tro­duced in Zim­babwe in Novem­ber 2014 and are fa­cil­i­tated by ZimTrade. Se­lected SMEs par­tic­i­pat­ing in the ac­tiv­ity will par­tic­i­pate first at the ZITF in prepa­ra­tion for ex­ter­nal pro­mo­tion ac­tiv­i­ties.

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