ZimTrade board chairman, Mr Lance Jena

THE country’s export promotion agency, ZimTrade, has secured $100 million under the export development fund to support the growth of small businesses and exporters with a view to growing the economy.


Speaking by telephone yesterday, ZimTrade board chairman, Mr Lance Jena, said:


“We have successfully negotiated for a $100 million export development fund from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.


“In order to kick start the economy, we have noted that large and small locally-based businesses or industries have to produce and this is why ZimTrade initiated the export development fund.


“Through the facility, we are targeting small businesses.”


He said the $100 million export development fund was ready for disbursement at “affordable” interest rates of around 7.5 percent per annum.


“Businesses need affordable finance to support their growth and thus companies applying for the $100 million export development fund will secure the funding at affordable interest rates of around 7.5 percent.


“The money will be disbursed through Agribank and Homelink,” he said.


Mr Jena said prospective borrowers could also come through ZimTrade but this was not a guarantee that they would secure the funding as due diligence procedures were done by the respective financial institutions doing the disbursements.


To facilitate the ease of exporting, Finance and Economic Planning Minister Patrick Chinamasa in the 2018 national budget noted that exports remain a major source of liquidity for overall economic activity.


In this light, he said, it was necessary that exporters be supported through a number of initiatives including the creation of a conducive and competitive exporting environment.


“This entails removing a number of impediments, which comprise exporters’ competitiveness.


“These include a plethora of regulations, different and fragmented export documentation agencies, and long periods for document and permits processing and approvals,” he said.


Despite a myriad of challenges facing the local export sector, last year the country’s export performance posted a 30 percent increase to over $3 billion.


Zimbabwe enjoyed strong earnings from mineral exports with gold recording a 3.2 percent increase to $275.2 million in the period to May 2017 while receipts from the platinum sectors were $333.5 million.


Source : Chronicle

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