Zimbabwe - Country Commercial Guide
Market Opportuities
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Agriculture, construction, energy, mining, biotech, health, and tourism represent the most promising market opportunities in Zimbabwe, although opportunities also exist in consumer goods, services, and franchising.  Broadly, the best opportunities for U.S. exports lie in capital equipment for the agriculture and mining sectors.  Once known as the breadbasket of southern Africa, Zimbabwe’s weak investment climate, land tenure challenges, and corruption have prevented the agricultural sector from reaching its full potential.  Nevertheless, government efforts to provide credit to farmers on market terms have helped farmers purchase American agricultural equipment.   

Many international firms use contract farming arrangements for export crops including tobacco, cotton, and various horticultural products, and there are opportunities for the country to boost agricultural production if it adopts biotechnology.  Zimbabwe does not currently permit use of genetically modified organism (GMO) seeds on health grounds. 

The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the need to modernize Zimbabwe’s health care sector.  There is a robust market for private health care, and the public sector needs considerable updates.  U.S. companies have found opportunities to provide equipment and pharmaceutical products and have explored hospital upgrade projects. 

Zimbabwe offers the potential to participate in infrastructure projects in energy, rail, and road networks through public-private partnerships (PPPs), though financing sometimes presents a challenge.  The government has prioritized the development of solar energy, which experts note is well-suited to Zimbabwe’s climate. 

The GOZ’s efforts to spur mining development opens opportunities for equipment manufacturers, investors, and energy suppliers. In 2020, the government passed Finance Act (No 2) removing diamonds and platinum from minerals subject to majority shareholding by black Zimbabweans and ending indigenization requirements in all sectors. 

The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe estimated the country’s internet penetration rate in 2022 at 42 percent and smartphone rate at 52 percent.  Zimbabweans used digital payment systems for 96 percent of all formal transactions.  Mobile data in Zimbabwe is among the most expensive in southern Africa.  Rapid digitalization of Zimbabwe’s economy will require significant investment in 5G infrastructure or an opening of the market to alternatives like satellite. 

Zimbabwe’s many natural wonders make it an attractive tourism destination: Victoria Falls, spectacular national parks, wildlife, including the Big Five (buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard, and rhinoceros), and archeological sites such as Great Zimbabwe.  Tourism currently caters to luxury travel with room to expand in the less-developed middle-class segment.  Should the GOZ improve its international reputation by strengthening its respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, its underdeveloped tourism sector would likely experience new growth.

Additionally, a growing number of Zimbabwean companies express interest in selling U.S. products, such as pharmaceuticals, motor oil, and electrical and agricultural equipment.