Trade between Zimbabwe and the European Union is this year seen rising significantly driven by the growing demand for the African country’s sugar and tobacco, an official has said.
Government last year ratified the interim Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU, which gave Zimbabwe access to export its products to countries in the bloc duty and quota free if they meet the its quality standards.
In 2012, total trade between the EU member states and Zimbabwe amounted to $791 million with a trade surplus of $171.5 million in favour of Zimbabwe.
The southern African nation’s exports to the EU amounted to about $482 million while imports from the bloc were worth $309.37 million.
Unconfirmed reports have put the 2013 figure at $800 million in 2013 but an official with the EU delegation to Zimbabwe, Ana-Maria Pena Segura, said that the country enjoyed a trade surplus of 147 million euros.
She said this year, the figure was likely to be higher because of the increase in agricultural exports.
“We don’t have the final figures yet but for this year the surplus should be higher than last year given the performance of tobacco and raw cane sugar. Raw cane sugar is one of the products that the E.U has traditionally supported,” she said.
Pena Segura also said that horticulture farmers should take advantage of the demand for organic products and look to supply the E.U market.
“The main advantage for Zimbabwe is that you are producing products of high quality that are in demand in the EU markets and also here you produce organic and (genetically modified organisms) GMO free products which are selling very well in the EU,” she said.
The Zimbabwean government has maintained a ban on GMO products.- The Source