ITC and UNCTAD eye economic boost for Zimbabwe

9 May 2014
ITC News

Zimbabwe’s path towards economic recovery is set to broaden as a result of the European Union-funded project Support to Trade and Private Sector Development.

The International Trade Centre (ITC) and UNCTAD formed a new partnership, marked by the signing of a Letter of Agreement on 5 May in Geneva, to work together in support of this goal.

The two United Nations organizations are joining forces to foster economic diversification and poverty reduction in Zimbabwe. The project will improve the use and availability of trade intelligence, and it will mainstream inclusiveness and sustainability into trade-promotion and development policies.

Key interventions

There are three main areas of intervention foreseen in the project: helping small and medium-sized enterprises to access markets and seize opportunities arising from the interim Economic Partnership Agreement (i-EPA) with the European Union (EU); strengthening the capacities of trade support institutions to support the private sector; and increasing dialogue between the public and private sectors and reviewing the country’s competition law.

Through the signing of the Letter of Agreement, UNCTAD will be in charge of the development of a framework for a new competition law in Zimbabwe. As part of the partnership, which will last until April 2016, ITC will provide UNCTAD with US$ 300,000 to implement the activities, which will result in a revamped competition law.

Supporting trade growth in Zimbabwe

In February, ITC launched the Support to Trade and Private Sector Development Programme for Zimbabwe, funded by the EU, to promote and increase trade while fostering sustainable growth and poverty reduction in the country.

The EU is funding the €3 million trade-development programme, of which €2.96 million will be implemented through ITC to strengthen the country’s business environment.