Zim targets increased horticultural exports to UAE
Dubai (New Ziana) – Zimbabwe is targeting to exploit the huge market for horticultural produce in the United Arab Emirates as it seeks to diversify its export basket to the oil rich Middle Eastern country, an official has said.
In 2019, Zimbabwe exported $1.63 billion worth of goods to the UAE which mainly consisted of precious minerals such as gold and diamonds.
But, Industry and Commerce Permanent Secretary Dr Mavis Sibanda, who is in the UAE for the Expo2020-Dubai, said there was scope for increased horticultural exports to the UAE which, being an arid country relies mainly on food imports.
“Zimbabwe produces quality products, so we are hoping that the fact that we are producing non-GMO products in the horticulture sector that should be a selling point for Zimbabwean products. Zimbabwe is really pitching that part,” she said.
“The UAE and Zimbabwe are very good friends, They (the UAE) are importing a lot of our horticultural fruits so we are hoping that we can actually do more business (with them).”
Dr Sibanda said local business representative bodies including the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries and the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce were also attending the Expo2020-Dubai to scout for business opportunities.
They will also attend the Global Business Forum Africa, where the Zimbabwean delegation will be led by Vice President General Constantino Chiwenga (Rtd).
“This is a very important conference as far as we are concerned that is why our delegation is led by our Honourable Vice President. We take this conference as a platform where we can share our ideas with the international community,” she said.
“We are actually looking at getting some Investors from this conference and we also are looking at exporting our products to the Middle East and beyond so we think this conference is very important.”
Between 1995 and 2019, exports from Zimbabwe to the UAE increased at an annualised rate of 37.4 percent from $795 000 in 1995 to $1.63 billion in 2019.