ZIMBABWE is on the verge of sealing a deal with an unidentified French company with expertise in export and import quality control, businessdigest has learnt.
In an interview, French Ambassador to Zimbabwe Laurent Delahouse said one of the 10 French companies which visited Harare late last month was in advanced discussions with Zimbabwean firms and expected to seal a deal by March.
Although he could not be drawn to reveal the identity of the French company, Delahouse said the firm specialises in quality control.
Of the 10 French companies that visited Zimbabwe recently, Bureau Veritas is the only one described as a global leader in testing, inspection and certification, suggesting it is the one set to sign the agreement.
The French delegation, representing companies with a combined annual turnover of US$100 billion, visited Harare to explore business opportunities in Zimbabwe.
“The negotiations have gone on well. We expect the sealing of a deal very soon,” Delahouse said.
“The contract is nearly ready and has been approved by the Zimbabwean government for signing in the coming weeks, maybe in March. It is a big contract for quality control.
“We cannot say more at this stage except to confirm the deal is on the verge of being signed.”
He said through the investment the country will cushion consumers from consuming poor quality products peddled by foreigners.
Delahouse said the deal will also help boost the country’s exports as it will ensure manufactures meet international product standards.
Bureau Veritas is a world leader in trade facilitation services with more than 90 programmes operating in the last 30 years.
Its government services and international trade division provides assistance to government authorities, implementing trade facilitation programmes to secure international trade operations, maximise state revenues and protect consumers from counterfeits and substandard products.
However, the visiting French delegation raised concerns over bottlenecks which include the country’s poor rating on the doing business index, the debilitating liquidity crunch, absence of an interbank market and the controversial indigenisation policy.'