ITC, European Union launch €3 million trade programme in Zimbabwe
Exporters in Zimbabwe could soon be selling more of their goods in European markets following the launch of the Support to Trade and Private Sector Development Programme (TPSDP) for Zimbabwe. The project aims to promote and increase trade with the European Union (EU), while fostering sustainable growth and poverty reduction in the country.
The opening ceremony of the programme, which took place in the capital, Harare, on 14 February, follows a decision by the EU to fund €3 million for the trade-development programme, €2.96 million of which will be implemented through the International Trade Centre (ITC).
ITC will assist Zimbabwe in implementing the interim Economic Partnership Agreement (i-EPA) currently in place with the EU. The programme will focus on helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access market information and take advantage of opportunities arising from the i-EPA. ITC will work to strengthen trade support institutions and business associations so that they can provide greater support to the private sector and promote dialogue between the public and private sectors. A review of the country’s competition law will also be carried out.
Support will also be provided to the government’s economic policies through the creation of a sustainable export culture in industrial sectors and by increasing the contribution of the manufacturing sector to economic growth.
‘Zimbabwe’s true potential lies in using its social capital to turn its natural resources into value-added and export-ready goods,’ said ITC Executive Director Arancha González when ITC signed the agreement with the EU. ‘Doing so will provide Zimbabwe – its people and businesses – with economic stability and a sustainable future.’
Ambassador Aldo Dell'Ariccia, Head of the EU Delegation in Zimbabwe, said: ‘The i-EPA grants duty-free and quota-free access for Zimbabwean exports to the EU market and the project will provide export-oriented SMEs in the country with opportunities arising from the implementation of the agreement. It will also assist in strengthening the capacity of key actors, including business associations, to provide better business-development services to their members.’