Zimbabwe needs to revive manufacturing output and exports to stave off an economic collapse. The loss of export earnings has caused Zimbabweâ€™s gross domestic product to shrink by almost a third. Swedenâ€™s new ambassador to Zimbabwe, Sofia Calltorp, said that she would immediately start working to restart stalled investment here and resume exports from the southern African country that plummeted after the controversial land grab programme.
Welcoming pledges from President Robert Mugabe for improved cooperation after presenting her credentials at the State House on February 9, Calltorp â€” who has great experience from both the political arena as well as from the humanitarian field â€” said she also hoped for a â€œnew phase of cooperationâ€, and that Zimbabweâ€™s exports of clothing and textiles to Sweden, currently averaging a meagre $15 000 per annum, could be raised.
Several big Swedish companies are already present in Zimbabwe and they will continue to encourage Swedish investors to engage with the Zimbabwean market. They will together with Open Trade Gate Sweden (OTGS) similarly continue to assist Zimbabwean producers and manufacturers that are keen to export to Sweden or to partner up with Swedish companies.
OTGS provides requisite market intelligence to Zimbabwean companies, particularly those with the potential as well as the capacity to export to Sweden and the European Union (EU).
ZimTrade, in collaboration OTGS and the Embassy of Sweden in Zimbabwe, will host a seminar on â€˜How to Export to Swedenâ€™ at the Holiday Inn in Bulawayo where participants from the clothing, textiles as well as leather sector are expected to attend.
Swedenâ€™s commitment to Zimbabwe was also reflected in its development cooperation with Zimbabwe. Each year Sweden provides $20-25 million in development assistance to the country via the United Nations (UN) and civil society.
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