Zimbabwe has moved to implement the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Trade Related Facility (TRF) project aimed at enhanc‑ ing infrastructure standards for increased trade competitiveness.
The project is being funded by the European Union Commission through the SADC Secretariat to the tune of €1,4 million and would run until September 2019.
“The Ministry of Industry, Com‑ merce and Enterprise Development wishes to inform all its valued stakeholders of the implementa‑ tion of the Southern African Devel‑ opment Community Trade Related Facility project, which is aimed at strengthening Zimbabwe’s quality and standards infrastructure,” per‑ manent ministry secretary, Abigail Shonhiwa, said.
“The (TRF) support will be used to strengthen the national qual‑ ity infrastructure towards the full implementation of technical barri‑ ers to trade (TBT) and sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) agreements.”
Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures are measures to protect humans, animals, and plants from diseases, pests, or contaminants. The national quality infrastruc‑ ture, sanitary and phytosanitary environment in Zimbabwe is key to the country’s implementation of commitments under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) techni‑ cal barriers to trade and sanitary and phytosanitary agreements.
These are important for regional trade because of the link with annexes on TBTs and SPS of the SADC Protocol on Trade, said Shonhiwa.
“The overall objective of the pro‑ ject is to increase export of goods and services and improve quality and safety of goods produced and imported into the country through the use of quality standards, TBT and SPS related measures,” she said.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the overall objective of the project is to promote the use of quality and SPS infrastructure to improve the competitiveness and access of Zim‑ babwe’s export products and ser‑ vices in local, regional and inter‑ national markets.
Beneficiaries of the project include government ministries and agencies responsible for industry, commerce, lands and agriculture, health, livestock and veterinary services, research and specialist services, laboratories, national bio‑ technology, metrology institutions as well as the Standards Associa‑ tion of Zimbabwe (SAZ).
Shonhiwa paid tribute to the EU Commission and the SAC for the financial support saying the coun‑ try was geared to working hard to ensure successful implementation of the project.