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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Industry embraces currency-strengthening measures

Story by Yolanda Moyo

CAPTAINS of industry have welcomed the government’s move to strengthen the use of the local currency to boost economic growth.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has made it clear that the country can only prosper through the use of its currency and captains of industry in Bulawayo agree with this vision.

Industrialist Mr Busisa Moyo is convinced that this will be achieved by widening access to stable exchange rates by companies.

“Once there is stability you will now need to improve access to that exchange rate, we need to improve access, the banks have been very active, we have seen the banks coming themselves. We need to create a framework that allows willing sellers to come forward and operate in a market that has a rate that is not a deterrent.

“We need to open up on the demand side, open up the bureau de change and once this is done we will limit the parallel market. Over 170 countries in the world are using local currency because that’s a practical model as opposed to the one that uses a foreign currency which is more difficult and more complex.

“We have been through hyperinflation that has led to challenges in managing the local currency. There is a need to request stability and we have seen that and if this can be fortified we will see more and more people embracing it. At the moment trade is 70 percent USD and this can change anytime,” he said.

Economist Mr Morris Mpala stressed the need to strengthen economic fundamentals to support the use of the local currency backed by macroeconomic stability.

“There is a lot that needs to be done for us to use our currency and now given that it is a feared currency what is needed now is an increase in production and currency will create confidence in the market and creation of trust within the public,” he said.

The government is seized with implementing measures for a smooth and gradual de-dollarisation process to enable local products to be competitive in the regional market.

“We are working towards putting in place the necessary fundamentals with treasury to enable the growth of the industry. There is a need to implement functional markets, production of costs are high as this is associated with the use of US dollars,” said the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Dr Sithembiso Nyoni.

Last month, the treasury introduced a set of measures to mop up excess liquidity on the market and promote the use of the local currency.

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