The 2019, 8th edition of the Zimtrade Annual Exporters Conference rolled into life on 17 – 18 October 2019 under the theme Rethink, Reform, Export” with the support of policy makers, experts, development cooperation partners and stakeholders such as the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority,(ZIMRA).

The conference, which was held in Bulawayo for the first time since inception in 2012, attracted more than 500 local and foreign delegates, among them captains of industry, government officials, exporters, buyers and private and public players in the economy.

Guest of Honour at the conference, His Excellency President E.D Mnangagwa underscored the need for engagement across all sectors of the economy to forge strong business linkages and to create a strong environment for export growth.

“I am honoured to officiate at this occasion. I attended last year’s event and realised that it gave a platform for constructive dialogue that creates an enabling environment to boost trade. I am pleased that 2019 has depth and an analytical approach, giving us an opportunity to exchange ideas, to stimulate productivity and economic growth through an export driven strategy. It is befitting that the conference is being held in Bulawayo as it is a special economic zone. The theme of this conference is timely because it challenges all stakeholders to introspect and to increase foreign currency generation,” said Honourable Munangagwa.

He added that there is need for urgent private and public synergies to stabilise and grow the economy under the banner Zimbabwe is open for business”.

As part of the Discussants at the same conference under the session, ”Reforming the Policy environment, for Zimbabwe’s export growth, Commissioner General for ZIMRA, Ms Faith Mazani said  that ZIMRA was ready to advocate to and to  implement policies that will go a long way in broadening exports.

“ZIMRA stands firm in spearheading innovation and coordination and to work with all stakeholders in the export sector. I implore you therefore to work with us in increasing tax and duty compliance. Once we take this burden and carry it together, we can truly succeed. We need to share the burden equally, it is unfortunate that a few are complying with their tax obligations, said Ms Mazani.

She added that Zimbabwe should fight against corruption as the cost of corruption is destroying the nation.

The Zimtrade annual conference aims to foster dialogue and linkages between delegates and business leaders from different sectors and to come up with solutions will improve Zimbabwe’s trade balance. Zimtrade has also successfully driven the Market for Eastern and Southern Africa trade agreements to which Zimbabwe is a signatory and has opened up more markets for locally value-added manufactured products.