ZIMBABWE’S export promotion body, ZimTrade, is set to launch an online store, Shop@Zim, in a bid to enable local companies to access international buyers amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
In a statement, ZimTrade said its online store was premised on the need to create a singular online window for marketing and selling Zimbabwean products.
“Market scans have revealed that many local producers lack the global presence that could catapult their business into financial success. Potential exporters entering the international market on their own often face steep challenges of acceptance owing to, for example, lack of exposure and scepticism by established buyers.”
Shop@Zim is expected to provide an alternative access to markets where physical trade fairs and exhibitions have been suspended.
For local companies, the platform will create more streams of generating foreign currency and harness the benefits of the digital economy for corporate level and national level economic growth.
Currently, the platform has been designed to facilitate business to business engagements between local exporters and international buyers.
Plans are to expand the platform so that it accommodates purchase of commodities, including product units, by the end users.
With regards to accessing the platform, Zimbabwean companies will be hosted for purposes of trading in the international digital economic community.
ZimTrade is set to introduce Shop@Zim in the market by initially engaging local companies to register on the platform and thereafter, start marketing the online store to the global world to start engaging local suppliers registered on the platform.
SMEs in particular are expected to benefit from this platform as it enables them to expand their business at minimal, given the high costs of developing and maintaining a similar platform.