Zimbabwean companies and farmers have been encouraged to combine their capacities to boost output and secure adequate standard certification to be able to penetrate the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The oil-rich Arab economy is a net importer of food products and Zimbabwe stands a chance to reap more export earnings by riding on the cordial bilateral relations between the two countries.
In an interview, Zimbabwe Pavilion Expo 2020 Dubai Commissioner-General, Ambassador Mary Mubi, said the UAE has a huge market for horticultural products, in particular, hence the need to find a way of aggregating production to ensure local products match expectations from key buyers.
Ambassador Mubi said that goat meat, honey and beef from Zimbabwe were also in high demand in the UAE, which presents a lucrative opportunity to locals.
“There is a fairly huge market for a number of our products here including horticulture, teas and honey so we need to have our Standards Association (of Zimbabwe) to certify our products so that they can get a good price,” she said.
“We need to meet market requirements and I think we also need a good narrative around our standards.
“We will need all the time to study the market, but our quality is excellent and even our beef is excellent,” said Ambassador Mubi.
Zimbabwe is deliberately advancing the export agenda as it seeks to boost foreign currency generation to ensure the bulk of products that are not manufactured locally such as fuel, are readily available for the benefit of consumers.
The Government is encouraging all producers to consider exporting part of their production to minimise, if not eliminate, forex shortages.
Tobacco and the mining sectors continue to lead in terms of export earnings, but experts have stressed the need to enhance domestic value addition so as to secure high value proceeds.
Last year, Zimbabwe generated US$9,7 billion from US$6,2 billion in 2020 driven by exports, which rose 66,6 percent while diaspora remittances grew by 42,7 percent.
Ambassador Mubi said during the six months that Zimbabwe has been exhibiting at the Expo 2020 Dubai, there was also huge investor interest in committing funds into the various business opportunities available in the country.