HARARE, July 25 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe recorded a trade surplus of 156.3 million U.S. dollars with the European Union in the first nine months of 2013, up from 85 million U.S. dollars recorded in the same period the previous year as trade between the two continues to firm, said a statement released on Friday.
In 2012, total trade between the two reached 800 million U.S. dollars, up from 400 million dollars in 2009.
Zimbabwe's exports to the EU comprise raw cane sugar, tobacco, non-industrial and industrial diamonds, refined copper, raw hides, citrus, cut flower, black fermented and partially fermented tea and leather.
From the EU, Zimbabwe imports cars, transport equipment, machinery, chemicals and some luxury goods.
Authorities from the two have also expressed hope that trade will expand following Zimbabwe's ratification of the interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the EU in 2012.
Under the EPA, Zimbabwe's exports will enjoy the privileged duty-free and quota-free access into the EU market, among other preferential treatments.
Meanwhile, the EU said it would next month jointly launch with Zimbabwe a 3 million Euro trade information center that will enable Zimbabwean businesses to easily access information about trade with the EU.
Set up with local partner ZimTrade, the Zimbabwe-EU Business Information Center will enhance access to important information by Zimbabwean companies thereby strengthening trade relations between the two.
"It will facilitate SMEs access to opportunities such as 'Duty Free Quota Free' access for Zimbabwean exports into the EU market, " EU ambassador to Zimbabwe Aldo Dell'Ariccia said.
The EU is Zimbabwe's third largest trading partner after South Africa and China. It has also announced a 234-million-Euro comprehensive aid package to Zimbabwe if a decision is taken this November to entirely remove sanctions on Zimbabwe.