THE Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) has so far attracted 12 companies to take on its tour of India as part of its marketing drive to the Far East.
The tour is from July 10 to 18.
After the Indian tour, local businesspeople are set to leave for France to attend the Southern African Development Community meeting on trade.
The Zimbabwe Investment Centre and the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) are also participating.
EPZA chief executive officer Walter Chidakwa this week said less than 15 firms had so far confirmed their bookings.
“So far we have 12 companies that have managed to secure their documentation,” he said. “But we are also expecting five more firms to confirm their bookings. We have met the Indian ambassador to assist in facilitation of the visas for the trip, but I think the number that we have is good so far.”
The Indian tour was necessitated by government’s economic and political shift which is now more oriented towards greater participation with countries in the Far East.
The policy has seen the flooding of the local market with goods from Singapore, China, Malaysia and Taiwan.
“This is not just an EPZA initiative but it also includes Zimbabwe’s marketing agencies such as the ZTA and ZIC,” Chidakwa said.
However, the influx of goods has also resulted in the country receiving sub-standard items that has resulted in the Consumer Council of Zimbabwe lobbying government to come up with a Product Liability Act.
The Act will enable consumers to make claims against business if one is either injured after purchasing or eating products from the shops.
Chidakwa said the number of firms could eventually increase if they managed to secure sufficient foreign currency from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
“The number of firms that might end up going to India could eventually increase from the 12 that we have because some of those that have applied for foreign currency at the Reserve Bank are still waiting for it,” he said.