There is a high demand for Zimbabwean products in Botswana’s building and construction sector, a visiting buyer from the neighbouring country has said.
Addressing a ZimTrade Buyers Seminar in Bulawayo on Friday, technical sales manager for J Haskins & Sons, a Botswana company, Goodnews Gumbo, challenged Zimbabwean companies to commit to doing business with BaTswana.
The buyers’ seminar was a culmination of the annual exporters’ conference held in the city on Thursday.
Gumbo said BaTswana were a choosey market demanding products of high quality.
“One of our biggest expectations is quality; quality is number one,” said Gumbo adding price was secondary.
He urged local companies to try to first meet the requirements of the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) before taking their products out.
Gumbo said some of the Zimbabwean products making their way into J Haskins & Sons include timber, net wire, farm implements, and others.
“We are addicted to Zimbabwean timber; we want originality,” he said, adding BaTswana preferred Zimbabwean timber to South African.
He said some of the challenges they have encountered in importing Zimbabwean products include some suppliers rebranding and repackaging other people’s products, arguing that undermines trust and confidence in the supplier.
The buyer said inconsistency in supplies from some companies was a major setback.
“Please be consistent if you are going to deal with us,” he appealed.
Gumbo said instability in the pricing of Zimbabwean products was also a cause for concern, adding, suppliers should deliver consignments at the stipulated times to avoid inconveniencing buyers and the market.
“Deliver when you are supposed to deliver,” he urged the exporters.
Meanwhile, another buyer from Namibia, Noel Nyatsine of Vek Investments said there were opportunities for Zimbabwean companies to export washing powder, bath soap, dried foods and stock feeds to that country.
Other buyers were from Zambia and the United Kingdom.
Zimbabwean companies later had one-on-one meetings with the buyers, with a view to clinching export business deals.