Trade Zimbabwe ( ZimTrade ), which was conducting a market survey, revealed that Botswana is ready to consume its Eastern neighbour’s products due to good quality during a presentation to exporters in Harare yesterday.
A manager at ZimTrade Similo Nkala, who was speaking on a side interview said that there is a lot that is happening in Botswana and what is needed is look at how to tap into the opportunities that are available for Zimbabwean companies.
“The major findings that we got was that the Botswana market is looking forward in terms of procuring products from Zimbabwe and quality they know, they are even mentioning brands,” Nkala said.
“We feel that if others are already there in the market there is a potential for us to supply that market also”
The market survey, that was done in Botswana to give the intelligence of the market information that is to be shared with Zimbabwean companies also raised the issue of pricing on products from Zimbabwe. Intelligence, in terms of marketing, is analyzing data about a specific market and could be related to infrastructure spending habits of consumers, state regulations, and other things
The ZimTrade Manager said that most of the people they met during the survey in Botswana were saying Zimbabwe has got good quality but the key issue with products is with the issue of pricing.
“They were were mentioning that that we know that your products in terms of quality they can compete but the key issue now is the issue of pricing; that we need to look into but you find that the issue of price now, with the export incentive that is offered by the Reserve bank of Zimbabwe is there to cover that gap in terms of pricing; to cover that competitiveness gap,” Nkala said.
Zimbabwean products are 15 percent more expensive when compared to Botswana goods according to the survey. ZimTrade’s presentation shows that cooking oil, which costs US$3.29 is priced at US$2.91 in Botswana, 410 grams of baked beans at US$1.00 in Zimbabwe costs US$0.72 in Botswana and fresh milk at US$1.30 Zimbabwean price costs US$1.14 in Botswana.
ZimTrade Manager also said that there is need to take advantage of the bilateral agreements between Zimbabwe and Botswana as this reduces trade tariffs on between the two neighbours.
Trade agreements between the two countries include the Zimbabwe-Botswana Preferential Trade Agreement and the SADC Trade Protocol.
“…we have got bilateral trade agreements with Botswana and we are also signatories to the SADC Trade Protocol, so as you know when have a certain trade agreement with a certain country the goods to that country are either duty free or they have got reduced duty rates so we definitely need to take advantage of that,” Nkala said.
The Zimbabwe-Botswana Preferential Trade Agreement which was ratified in 1988 provides for reciprocal duty-free trade on all products grown, wholly produced, or manufactured wholly or partly from imported inputs subject to a 25 percent local content requirement and the SADC agreement is to reduce customs duties and other barriers to trade on products from each other.
ZimTrade’s survey is expected to increase Zimbabwe’s exports to Botswana, which were at US$21.5 million as the desert country has more than 90 percent of shelf space occupied by South African brands
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