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Stakeholders deplore cheap industrial imports

Stakeholders deplore cheap industrial imports

Story by Grace Sibanda

Imports of cheap products in the rubber and conveyor belt industry have been cited as a hindrance in efforts to restore Bulawayo’s status as the country’s industrial hub.

This was revealed during a tour of General Belting Holdings in Bulawayo this Thursday by the Special Advisor to the President on Monitoring Implementation of Government Programmes and Projects, Dr Joram Gumbo.

Cheap imports are proving to be a thorn in the flesh for local manufacturers as they are dominating the local market, thus stifling the growth of the private sector.

Representing Bulawayo Metropolitan Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Permanent Secretary, Mr Paul Nyoni said a conducive environment is needed for the private sector to flourish in Bulawayo.

“Industries are plagued by cheap imports of local products which lead to a dying market and ultimately loss of jobs. There is a need for intensified support of our industries so that they boom and Bulawayo regains its industrial hub status.”

The government has employed various mechanisms to protect the private sector in a bid to ensure that it continues to drive economic growth.

“Government has been engaging various stakeholders with a view of establishing a playing field where local industries are protected and allowed to thrive, despite the various challenges they are faced with. One such is the drone system which is being employed at the country’s entry points for goods control, we also encourage the collaboration of arms of government to ensure that they assist the private and to rid cheap imports of locally produced products,” said Dr Gumbo.

The government’s approach to protecting the private sector is intended to strengthen Bulawayo’s growing economy and ensure local companies do not lose their market grip.