ZimTrade urges SMEs to be export oriented

Rudo Saungweme

ZimTrade has demystified the stereotyped belief by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that exports are only for big and well-known companies.

Speaking at a conference held at Ambassador Hotel today, Zimtrade client manager, Ronald Katsande advised SMEs to make use of Trade Promotional Organisations (TPO) such as ZimTrade when they want to export their products. He said that exporting products was not difficult but only needs one to be knowledgeable.

"There is a myth instilled in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that exporting products is very difficult and only done by large corporates.

"In Biblical terms, they say, if the axe is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success. You must sharpen your skills and look for information from those who are knowledgeable of the export industry. I urge you to seek advice from Trade Promotion Organisations (TPOs) such as ZimTrade," he said

TPOs play a major role in promoting exports by helping both exporters and importers to clear their goods since some of them do not have adequate knowledge and expertise pertaining to the importation and exportation of goods and strengthening diplomatic relations amongst Zimbabweans and other trading partners in the world.

Apart from consulting TPOs, SMEs were also encouraged to make use of those already in the exporting industry, those with market information and those who have a foot in their target market for them to be able to venture easily in the export industry.

Katsande said that SMEs must register with Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) or even with ZimTrade so that the products which they want to export are known.

"For SMEs to be able to export, you need to register with ZimTrade at a cost of RTGS $ 2 only. ZIMRA also do registration with SMEs that is if you do not want to register with ZimTrade," he said.

Katsande stated the requirements needed by ZIMRA officials to verify the eligibility of the company's exports.

The requirements include a formal application letter, valid tax clearance, a copy of certificate of incorporation, a list of products intended for export and a sketch of factory showing machinery layout, among others.