35 South African firms at ZITF


South Africa is Zimbabwe largest trading partner

A CONTINGENT of 35 South African firms is exhibiting at the 57th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF).

The companies which came under the auspices of the South African Department of Trade and Industry (D.T.I) are expected to showcase their products and services, as well as scout for new opportunities.

DTI representative at the local South African embassy Frank Stevens said trade relations between the two countries had potential to grow further.

“We have 35 companies and they are multi-faceted, some of these companies are here to seek new market opportunities while others are to seek partnerships with other business organisations to distribute their products. Trade between the two countries has deepened and we want to see that grow,” said Stevens.

He said that Zimbabwe firms should seek to grow their presence in the South African market.

“We would want to see more trade from Zimbabwe coming to South Africa to showcase their products goods and services”.

South African firms have traditionally had a strong presence at the ZITF and last year the company had the largest contingent of companies.

According to Foreign Direct Investment markets, South African companies have invested US$1,3 billion into the Zimbabwean economy since 2003.

South Africa is Zimbabwe largest trading partner, however the trade is largely skewed in Pretoria’s favour.

For the first half of 2015, Zimbabwe imported US$203 million of products and service while imports were at US$112 million.

According to 2015 trade statistics Zimbabwe trade deficit stood at a staggering US$3 billion.

Exports amounted to US$2,5 billion while imports stood at US$5,5 billion for the first 11 months of 2015.

Stevens said the ZITF had provided several opportunities for South African companies and expected this year’s edition to be no different.

South African President Jacob Zuma is expected to visit Zimbabwe before the end of the year to assess progress made in fulfilling economic agreements signed last year.

The two countries signed a Bi-National Commission (BNC) agreement to be led by the two heads of State, President Zuma and President Mugabe.

In addition to the Bi-National Commission the two governments also inked a Memorandum of Understanding on Trade.

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