Zim-Rwanda cooperation to boost sugar exports


Zim-Rwanda cooperation to boost sugar exports

ZIMBABWE has an opportunity to export some of its sugar to Rwanda where there is a ready market, Zimtrade director of operations Similo Nkala has said.

Speaking at the ongoing Zimbabwe-Rwanda Trade and Investment Conference in Harare, Nkala said Zimbabwe could also export pharmaceutical products to the East African country.

“One of the top exporting products that we used to export consistently is sugar, there is a market and there is a potential opportunity for us to export sugar to Rwanda. We are already exporting our sugar to the EU and we definitely have the capacity to export.

“Rwanda’s top importing products are machinery and pharmaceutical products of which we already have some of our pharmaceutical companies exporting to Tanzania.

“There is a warehouse between Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo so we can use that as an opportunity to use it when we export our goods, Rwanda imports paper-related products and we already have companies exporting paper, plastics and chemicals.

“Rwanda imports a lot of footwear at one time if you look at the leather sector, at one point we used to produce about 17 million pairs of shoes so we should get back to those levels so we can take advantage of opportunities that are available,” Nkala said.

He added that export market concentration in 1992 was well diversified. The country used to export a lot to South Africa, Germany, the United States and Japan.

“As of 2021 most of our exports are going to South Africa and EU is our second largest trading partner hence we are here today so that we can engage each other with our colleagues from Rwanda.

“Rwanda is not appearing on our charts in terms of where our exports are, and we hope that through such discussions we will see Rwanda contributing a lot in terms of the export market.

“Our total trade with Rwanda is less than a million per year. We both need to collaborate for export success, if we export to Rwanda definitely there will be a return load, a thing we can do to share costs,” he said.

Nkala alluded that exports are increasing and the African Continental Free Trade Africa (AfCFTA) will improve foreign revenue.

“Zimbabwe  trade performance , in terms of our exports in 2009 our total export was about US$1,8 billion , 2021 our exports have grown to US$6billion, our total target being US$7 billion in 2023 but there is a need for us to increase manufactured products.

“Building synergies and collaborations for export success, there has been a lot of talk of markets being offered by AfCFTA, where we are told that the total of the GDP for AfCFTA countries is US$3 trillion and projected that it will go up to US$7 trillion by 2035 so we are seeing a lot of opportunities for us to export to boost sugar exports.

Melisa Chatikobo