Zimbabwe could tap into Swedish market: Expert


Helena Hafgren

A SWEDISH export agency has said Nordic country has a wide range of opportunities for Zimbabwean seeking markets in that country.
Sweden is increasingly depending on imports, and regional countries that can export goods into that country have better opportunities.
Helena Hafgren, who made a presentation to over 40 exporters in Harare last week, said Sweden depended on imports of such agricultural products as bananas which were mostly imported from South American markets.
The Swedish market was also looking for coffee, macadamia nuts, spices and clothing and textiles products, among other products.
“We are getting less and less self sufficient on tea, wine, meat, sea food and frozen vegetables,” said Hafgren, a senior marketing expert at Open Trade Gate Sweden.
She spoke at an export trade conference organised by Zimtrade in Harare.
“Ninety percent of the imports are processed in some kind,” she said, adding that the Swedish market combined US$2,5 billion worth of fresh produce per year.
With a shrinking market caused by the closure of companies and loss of income by consumers, experts at the meeting said Zimbabwe could take advantage of the Swedish market to grow sales.
But the market required significantly high quality of produce and higher volumes of products, which could only be achieved if Zimbabwean firms pooled resources.
The market also had products from some of the world’s largest suppliers of all forms of goods and competition was high, said Hafgren.
There is currently little international trade between Sweden and Zimbabwe at the moment.
Trade figures between the two countries indicate that the Nordic country imported US$1,97 billion worth of fresh produce, US$5,56 billion of processed foods and US$4,9 billion of clothing and textiles from the world in 2014.
Zimbabwe id desperate to increase its export base to reduce a widening trade deficit currently estimated at over US$3,5 billion.