Zimbabwe and the European Union will this Friday launch a business information centre to enhance business linkages between local exporters with their European counterparts.The Zim-EBIC will be jointly inaugurated in Harare by Minister of Industry and Commerce Mike Bimha and the Head of the EU delegation to Zimbabwe Ambassador Aldo Dell'Ariccia.
This follows the successful launch of the three million euro facility in February by the EU to support the Trade and Private Sector Development Programme in Zimbabwe.
ZimTrade chief executive Ms Sithembile Pilime commended the EU for the initiative to increase trade between Zimbabwe and the EU, given the current subdued economic scenario. Zim-EBIC will be housed at the ZimTrade offices, forming an integral part of the trade information centre.
"The facility aims at increasing the capacity of Zimbabwean exporters to the EU to establish mutually beneficial linkages with their European counterparts," said Ms Pilime.
The facility is part of a bigger project of enhancing the functions of ZimTrade through upgrading the trade information centre, redesigning the ZimTrade website, training ZimTrade staff and reviewing the export marketing training programme that imparts relevant skills, particularly to emerging small to medium enterprise exporters.
"The Zim-EBIC platform will enhance knowledge sharing on thematic areas such as EU market intelligence, EU business cultures, EU trade fairs, Economic Partnership Agreements, Standards Quality Management among other issues, said Ms Pilime.
She said the involvement of the International Trade Centre, Geneva, as the implementing agency, was encouraging given the experience and expertise it has in trade development.
"ZimTrade will leverage on this ITC knowledge resource to build internal capacity to better service our clients and to ensure sustainability beyond the project tenure", said Ms Pilime.
EU Member States Ambassadors to Zimbabwe, business organisations and captains of industry are expected to grace the occasion. ZimTrade is optimistic that Zim-EBIC will lead to the transformation of its trade information centre. The initiative is expected to reposition and strengthen ZimTrade's role as the national trade development and export promotion entity that provides a high quality, client needs-driven trade information to the Zimbabwean export sector, among other services.