Zimbabwe-EU Business Information Centre inaugurated in Harare
The Zimbabwe-EU Business Information Centre (Zim-EBIC) was today inaugurated in Harare. An information hotspot, Zim-EBIC will provide Zimbabwean businesses with easy and convenient access to information about trade with the European Union.
Today’s opening ceremony of Zim-EBIC was presided over by Iris Mabuwa, Zimbabwe’s Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce, Aldo Dell'Ariccia, Head of the European Union Delegation in Zimbabwe, Ms. Sithembile Priscilla Pilime, Chief Executive Officer of ZimTrade, and Arancha González, Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (ITC).
The establishment of the Zim-EBIC is part of the European Union's Support to Trade and Private Sector Development project, implemented by International Trade Centre (ITC). The EUR 3 million project, which is being implemented by ITC, is in line with the national priorities set out in Zimbabwe’s National Trade Policy and Industrial Development Policy, and will contribute to enhance the EU's dialogue with Zimbabwe on trade and private-sector development.
‘The project will support the implementation of the interim Economic Partnership Agreement (i-EPA) between the EU and the Eastern and Southern Africa and Indian Ocean (ESA-IO) Region, ratified by Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles,’ said Mr. Dell'Ariccia. ‘It will facilitate SMEs' access to opportunities such as 'Duty-Free Quota-Free' access for Zimbabwean exports to the EU market. It will also assist in strengthening the capacities of key actors like intermediary organisations and business associations to provide better business-development services to their members.’
Ms. Pilime, said: ‘The timing of the Zim-EBIC facility is very appropriate to ZimTrade as we are actively charting a way forward for the development and promotion of exports after the decline in industrial output and export competitiveness. The facility will be instrumental in our endeavours to deliver effective trade information, which will assist exporters and importers alike in their trade activities with the EU.’
The establishment of the centre specifically aims at creating mutually beneficial linkages between Zimbabwean businesses and European counterparts. It also seeks to act complementary to the public and private sector agencies of EU Member States and Zimbabwe.
The EU-Zimbabwe Business Information Centre was set up within local partner ZimTrade’s 'Trade Information Centre' at Mount Pleasant Business Park. It will assist exporters including SMEs to easily access market information, such as ITC’s market analysis tools, including Market Access Map, Trade Map and Standards Map. Businesses will also be provided support on how to access the EU Export Help Desk and EU publications.
The main component of Zim-EBIC is a virtual library with databases that include, amongst others, EU-Zimbabwe trade statistics, linkages with EU Chambers of Commerce, as well as information on EU exporters and importers.
Ms. González, said: ‘For ITC strong trade support institutions are important partners in ensuring that, through the multiplier effect, capacity and expertise is effectively shared amongst as many SMEs as possible in the country, and ZimTrade is a solid partner in this area.’
‘Through this project, ITC will enhance the capacity of ZimTrade to access trade and market intelligence data that will facilitate business transactions and relationships between Zimbabwean businessmen and businesswomen and their counterparts in Europe,’ she said.
With the inauguration of the Zimbabwe-European Business Information Centre, the EU reaffirms its long-standing commitment to strong trade links between the 28 EU Member States and Zimbabwe. From 2009 to 2012, trade between the EU Member States and Zimbabwe doubled; and in the first nine months of 2013, it yielded a positive trade balance for Zimbabwe of EUR 115.776 million compared to EUR 63 million (approx. US$ 85 million) in the same period of the previous year.
For more information
Media Contact ITC:
Media Officer, Office of the Executive Director
Mobile: +41-79 582 9180
Media Contact ZimTrade:
Public Relations Officer
Tel: +263 4369 33 041
Mobile: +263 7738 42 214
Media Contact Delegation of the European Union to Zimbabwe:
Press and Information Officer
Tel: +263 4338 15 864 (Ext.116)
Mobile: +263 7722 79 210