HARARE – As relations between the European Union (EU) continue to improve, the EU bloc has started a two-day workshop to encourage Zimbabwean businesses explore exporet opportunities to the EU, home to 7% of the world’s population.
Zimbabwean businesses to the two-day workshop, which is being held in Harare under the theme ‘How to Export to the EU’, were Thursday told that the EU has created the largest single market in the world with a population of about 502.4 million people.
“The European Union is the world’s largest single market. Besides, Zimbabwean businesses enjoy preferential conditions to export to the EU that reduces significantly – or in some cases even totally remove – the import duties to be paid when entering the EU market.”
Zimbabwe was under EU and United States “targeted” economic sanctions for more than a decade. However, the EU, Washington and Australia have gradually lifted some of the sanctions against leading members of President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party and government-linked businesses. The thawing of relations has even been more marked after the southern African country recently concluded a widely-accepted referendum for a new constitution.
“Despite these advantageous trade opportunities, Zimbabwean producers can still increase their exports even more. The challenge is there,” says a statement from the EU delegation in Harare.
To help Zimbabweans easily navigate their way into successfully exporting to Europe, the EU has created an information tool that includes a free Internet site that gives detailed information on how to export to Europe, from product-specific duties to import tariffs and trade statistics as well as useful links to business associations.
The workshop is being held by the EU in conjunction with Zimtrade, the government’s trade promotion agency.