ZIMBABWE has the potential to increase its market share in the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) for engineering, building and construction products, whose imports amounted to $14,1 billion in 2016, NewsDay Business has learnt.
ZimTrade, the country’s export promotion body, last week revealed that Zimbabwe’s exports to these markets were worth $10 million, while South Africa was the top exporter from the region with a total of $1,6 billion.
According to Trade Map, imports for engineering, building and construction products amounted to $14,1 billion in 2016.
Market surveys in Zambia and Tanzania carried out by ZimTrade in 2015 and 2016 also indicated that there were opportunities for these products.
The Zambia market survey in 2015 showed that the Zambian government had set aside a budget of $756 million for the construction of roads. Other infrastructure projects included the construction of hotels, shopping malls and housing projects.
The Tanzania investment website states that the growth rate of the country’s construction sector was 17,6%, in the third quarter of 2015 and it contributed 12,5% to the country’s gross domestic product in 2014, attributable to the ongoing construction of roads, residential and nonresidential buildings.
Recently, ZimTrade trained 10 participants drawn from Bulawayo’s engineering and building materials industry.
During the training, Dennis Choguya, a ZimTrade associate trainer, encouraged the participants to conduct in-depth research on target markets to ensure that they select the most appropriate markets, having considered various factors including consumer behaviours, economic activity, geographical location and disposable income, among others.
“Exporting, unlike selling on the local market, requires much more effort and demands that companies be thorough in their researc,h as any mistake made may prove to be costly to the company. When venturing into export markets, market research is an essential part of the entry process as it enables the company to ascertain customer needs, thereby ensuring that the products offered meet customer expectations”, Choguya said.