THE European Union (EU) has extended a US$11 million grant which will go towards Zimbabwe’s integration into the regional and international trading system with the objective to increase the volume of exports between the Zimbabwe and EU.
The strategic boost was launched Wednesday morning under the Zimbabwe European Partnership Agreement support Program (ZEPA) being funded from the 11th European Development Fund which kicked off in October 2018 after the signing of a Financing Agreement between the Government of Zimbabwe and the EU.
“The support focuses on improvements on in the policy, legislative and regulatory frameworks as well as developing the capacity of trade institutions to manage trade policy and trade agreements, improved trade facilitation by reducing the post and time across the borders,” said the EU statement.
The project will also go a long way towards improving export capacity among the Micro Small and Medium enterprises in selected value chains.
Speaking at the project’s launch, the Head of EU Delegation to Zimbabwe, said “The ZEPA project has resources that are ready to be deployed to expedite business climate reforms and in particular to do away with a plethora of regulations, procedures, permits and licensea requirements which are rising the cost of exporting rendering Zimbabwe’s exports uncompetitive.”
Zimbabwe and the EU signed an interim Economic partnership in 2009, which was then ratified and applied from 2002 onwards.
The European partnership agreements are trade and development agreements negotiated between the EU and African Caribbean and Pacific partners engaged in regional economic integration processes.
The donation comes shortly after the EU extended US$18.7 million recently towards drought alleviation in Zimbabwe.