EU Delegation Showcases Expanded Presence at ZITF


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DT Correspondent

The European Union (EU) has returned to the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) for the second consecutive year, demonstrating a significantly expanded presence.

Following last year’s successful exhibition, where the EU received the prestigious Foreign Exhibitors award, its commitment to strengthening economic ties with Zimbabwe is evident.

This year, the EU stand at ZITF is larger than before and features an even greater number of EU Member States.

Representatives from Sweden, France, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, and Romania have come together as #TeamEurope to offer a unique opportunity for visitors to engage and exchange ideas.

In addition, the EU stand is showcasing various projects funded by #TeamEurope that are currently underway in Zimbabwe.

The focal point of the EU’s participation at ZITF 2024 is its Global Gateway campaign, centered around the theme “EU WITH YOU, TINEMI, SILANI.”

The campaign highlights two key initiatives: Green and Climate Smart Agriculture (GCSA) and Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GEWE).

EU Ambassador Jobst von Kirchmann explained, “The EU’s Global Gateway initiative exemplifies our values-based approach to building trusted connections that benefit people and our planet. Zimbabwe’s National Development Strategy (NDS1) emphasizes the adoption of greener, climate-resilient agricultural practices.

“Our aim is to support Zimbabwe’s efforts to enhance productivity while minimizing environmental impact. Moreover, empowering women across social, economic, and political spheres is crucial to our shared vision.”

The EU-Zimbabwe Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the EU’s Global Gateway provide a framework for expanding trade and investment between the two entities.

The EPA offers significant opportunities for Zimbabwean companies, allowing them to export to the EU on a 100 percent duty-free, quota-free basis.

Furthermore, the agreement enables Zimbabwean companies to modernise and transform their manufacturing processes by importing machinery duty-free from Europe.

Trade between the EU and Zimbabwe currently stands at a volume of 700 million USD, with Zimbabwe enjoying a positive trade balance.

The EU is Zimbabwe’s fifth-largest trading partner and its primary destination for horticultural exports.

At ZITF, the EU, together with its member states, will provide information about trade and investment opportunities in Zimbabwe.

The EU stand aims to serve as a meeting point where visitors can access information on export requirements, agricultural machinery imports, technical assistance, European Investment Bank lending facilities, and opportunities to engage with European business partners and explore new markets.

The EU says it remains committed to contributing to an investment-friendly, innovative, and inclusive environment in Zimbabwe.

“As part of this collaboration, the European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided private sector facilities amounting to €40 million to local banks in the past three years, with additional facilities in the pipeline.

“This support acknowledges the positive steps taken by the Government of Zimbabwe, in partnership with its allies, to address the issue of debt and arrears, which had previously hindered Zimbabwe’s access to sovereign lending,” reads part of a statement released earlier today.

Ambassador von Kirchmann emphasized the EU’s dedication to fostering a positive business environment, stating,

“We are committed to working with Zimbabwe to promote investment, innovation, and inclusive growth. The European Investment Bank’s support for the private sector, along with our involvement in Zimbabwe’s good governance initiatives, paves the way for the brighter economic future we all envision.”

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