There is huge market for big sculptures in Europe that will help form long term business relationships with local sculptures, Germany buyer Juergen Deforth has said. This came out during the Germany buyer’s first visit to a metal sculptor in Hellensvelle Harare, James Batanai Nyama Suraji. ZimTrade facilitated Mr Deforth’s visit to Zimbabwe for a five day tour that will see him interacting with different local metal sculptors, to promote the arts and crafts sector and improve its significance in contributing towards national economic growth through exports.
Speaking in an interview with the Herald Finance and Business, Mr Deforth said he looked forward to continuing importing big metal sculptures from Zimbabwean artists.
“…I got in contact with ZimTrade and they have been very helpful and I came here to visit several artists and see the beautiful sculptures they make.
“I would like to import them by ship to Germany and start a business there … there is market for big sculptures in Europe … and I am very positive that I think we can develop a long term relationship with the local sculptures so that there is a chance to order from Europe and to create a long term business to support these local artists,” Mr Deforth said.
ZimTrade said the arts and crafts sector’s potential to contribute towards the growth of Zimbabwe’s exports is untapped largely due to limited linkages between international buyers and local artists. The trade body said the initiative, was therefore, meant to increase the significance of the arts and crafts sector in contributing to the growth of the country’s exports.
“This is one of our initiative to grow exports from arts and crafts sector in the context of the National Export Strategy where we are focusing on non-traditional export products.
“The arts and crafts sector is one of the areas with export potential in Zimbabwe as evidenced by the success of pieces that go out of the country.
“However, this potential is untapped largely due to limited linkages between international buyers and local artists and as part of measures to address that, we brought in a buyer who is willing to work with Zimbabwean artists on a long-term basis,” said ZimTrade chief executive Allan Majuru.
In February ZimTrade held a meeting to engage some artists in identifying possible means to increase exports within the arts and crafts sector.
The meeting suggested a lot of solutions that should be implemented to improve exports and formalise the arts and crafts sector, to expose Zimbabwean artists to viable buyers.
Thus, the visit by the German buyer, ZimTrade said, was aimed at exposing local artists to more international buyers.–herald.ol.zw