Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Business Council (CBC) Board of Directors has planned for Small and Medium Entreprises (SMEs) as it escalates efforts in building the technical capacity of private sectors, a development that can open market opportunities for Zimbabwe.
During the CBC boarding meeting in Zambia’s capital, Lusaka the directors resolved to work on the development of sector-led handbooks that provide market business and trade information within the COMESA region.
“The Business Council intends to escalate efforts in building the technical capacity of the private sector as Small and Medium Enterprises, as businesses and as Associations so that they can effectively participate in regional and global markets” states the COMESA website.
Zimbabwe’s Minister of SMEs Sithembiso Nyoni has seen COMESA as an opportunity and encouraged Zimbabweans to venture into the region.
COMESA’s plans on the private sector in the region come at a time when Zimbabwe witnesses the growth of the SMEs sector to over 2,8 million participants/entities.
Nyoni said that the SMEs can take advantage of COMESA to market their products and services to the regional block that has 500 million people.
The Minister said that Zimbabwe, which was once referred to as the breadbasket of Africa can actually feed the whole of COMESA if it takes Agriculture seriously.
Zimbabwe is encouraging the exportation of goods and services to other countries by offering export incentives as the nation suffers from foreign currency shortages that have led to the on-going liquidity crunch.
COMESA began in December 1994 to replace Preferential Trade Area (PTA) to co-operate in developing Natural and Human Resources for the people in the block.
The economic block has 20 member states with Zimbabwe included.