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THE Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) says local companies should embark on more trade missions this year to plug the gap between exports and imports.

Zimbabwe’s balance of trade remains negative and worrisome despite registering a 21 percent decline to $3,3 billion by December last year from $4,19 billion in December 2013.

To that end ZNCC, a lobby group for firms in commercial activities, said it was “encouraging members to embark on trade missions during the course of the year 2015 and going forward”.

ZNCC cited the South Africa BAUMA Expo in September, Botswana BOCCIM Norten Trade Fair in May and Indonesian Expo in October as some of the missions firms should look forward to.

ZNCC said trade missions allowed participants to gain knowledge of foreign countries’ cultures through direct contact with local business people and Government representatives.

The missions, ZNCC said, provided first-hand assessment of market opportunities, direct contacts, and a high- profile in target market assistance in seeking representation or prospective customers while it was also a learning experience in export marketing.

“These missions will be an on-site tutorial, providing a learning experience which allow firms to acquire information and expand their knowledge of the exporting process.”

Trade missions will allow potential exporters to learn how business is conducted in other countries, services and products are available, receptivity of potential buyers and extent of the commitment and resources necessary to sell in the regional and global markets.

Source : The Herald