Calls for 24-hour Forbes Border Post

17 Jun, 2022 - 00:06 0 Views
Calls for 24-hour Forbes Border Post There have been growing calls to open Forbes Border Post for 24 hours to boost trade between Zimbabwe and Mozambique

The ManicaPost

 

Cletus Mushanawani in CHIMOIO, Mozambique

MOZAMBICAN authorities in Manica Province have joined growing calls to open Forbes Border Post for 24 hours to boost trade between the two sister nations.

This week, the country’s exports promotion board, ZimTrade, was in Chiomio on an Outward Trade Mission to look at areas where Zimbabwe businesses can capitalise to enhance the existing trade between the two countries.

 

ZimTrade took 16 Zimbabwean companies for exhibitions in Chimoio and facilitated visits to various companies on an exchange programme.

Some companies also took the opportunity to strike business deals.

 

Secretary for State for Manica Province, Mr Edson da Graca Macuacau said considering the volume of traffic the border handles on a daily basis, it is prudent to have it opened for 24 hours every day.

 

Currently, Forbes Border Post which handles about 600 vehicles a day, opens at 6am and closes at 8pm, at times leaving some truck drivers stranded on either the Zimbabwean or Mozambican side of the border.

“We should cement bilateral trade agreements agreed upon by the Presidents of the two countries (President Mnangagwa and Nyusi) and we expect pragmatic solutions and concrete results to trade challenges being faced by the two nations.

“The major challenge is the operating hours at Forbes and Machipanda Border Posts. These ports of entries are key to the enhancement of trade between the two countries and SADC at large, and should be opened 24 hours. “Crossing of borders should not put barriers to trade between countries, but facilitate the smooth flow of trade. We should build new bridges to facilitate growth of businesses of both countries.

“When we have trade missions like this, we should always come up with discussions that speak to the growth of our countries’ economies and trade. We should share experiences and knowledge to grow our countries’ Gross Domestic Products,” said Mr Macuacau.

He called for the formation of synergies and maximum co-operation in areas of excellence exhibited by the two countries.

“We want action and not theory. We should co-operate in value addition of goods and not the current situation where we are exporting raw materials. The development of industries and commerce of our countries will only come when we take value addition and trading of finished products seriously.

“We need to create more jobs for our people,” he said.
Confederation of Economic Associations’ Manica Province president, Mr Alcides Cintura, said Mozambique companies have a lot to learn from their Zimbabwean counterparts.

“As businesses, we have almost similar challenges and we should learn from each other’s experiences. We should work together to grow our economies. Here in Mozambique, we are facing a serious challenge of pollution of water bodies due to gold panning activities and we want to learn from Zimbabwe on how to address this serious issue.

“We want to facilitate the ease of doing business between the two countries. There are vast investment opportunities in Mozambique, which our Zimbabwean counterparts should take advantage of,” said Mr Cintura.

Zimbabwe’s Consular General to Beira, Mr Stephen Kudarawanda urged the business community to take advantage of the regional and continental trade agreements to market their products and services.

“Mozambique is Zimbabwe’s all weather friend and is strategically located. Our countries are both members of the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), SADC and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA).

“These trade agreements allow us to trade with each other duty free and quota free on non-sensitive and exclusive products,” said Mr Kudarawanda.

 

This week’s ZimTrade’s Outward Trade Mission comes hot on the heels of President Mnangagwa’s three-day State Visit in April following an invitation from his Mozambican counterpart, President Filipe Nyusi. During the visit, the two countries consolidated their long standing relationship through the signing of an agreement to form a bilateral commission.

“The State visit to Mozambique at the invitation of President Nyusi was premised on the solid relations between Zimbabwe and Mozambique, but most importantly it is the commitment by Zimbabwe to capacitate Mozambique, post the current challenges in Cabo Delgado, where Zimbabwe, among other Southern African countries, has taken the responsibility to capacitate the Mozambican Defence Forces so that they hold their ground and stop any future spread of terrorism,” said Mr Kudarawanda.

ZimTrade’s operations director, Mr Similo Nkala, said Zimbabwe is one of the few countries that have seen exports growth during the past three years despite the Covid-19 induced national lockdowns.

“There is need for closer co-operation between the two countries. Zimbabwe is good in agriculture and needs to work together with Mozambique to expand its agricultural activities.

 

“Zimbabwe has seen an increase in exports during the past eight years. It is one of the few countries where exports increased in the past three years despite the Covid-19 pandemic. “Exports increased from US$4.4 billion in 2019 to US$6b in 2021, but the key issue is the need to increase value added exports,” said Mr Nkala.

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