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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Zim industry braces for increased demand of goods as duty on basic commodities effected

Story by Stanley James, Business Editor

ZIMBABWE’S manufacturing sector is bracing for an increased demand for local goods at affordable prices as customs duty on selected basic has been reintroduced effective this Thursday.

A Statutory Instrument gazetted by the government shows that the affected goods include, mealie meal, sugar, cooking oil, laundry soap, bath soap, washing soap, rice, flour, salt, and toothpaste among others.

The directive which follows consultations between government and industry is being made when official data shows that high imports of basic goods into the country as the key driver of the trade deficit that closed 2023 at over two billion United States Dollars.

Responding to concerns over whether Zimbabwe’s manufacturing sector can sustain local demand, Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Mr Kurai Matsheza said the growth in capacity utilisation is a clear indication that industry can sustain local requirements.

“The move by the treasury follows our extensive consultations with the government where we raised the issues regarding how Zimbabwe is losing foreign currency due to the duty-free goods because we as an industry have the ability if you can go to the shop you can see for yourself that right percent of goods are locally produced.”

An Industrialist Dr Abel Mubango highlighted the importance of industry in focusing on quality goods at affordable prices for the benefit of consumers.

“Opening up of markets create competition and quality goods which translates into more output job creation and saving therefore while the government has done its best industry should respond positively by increasing production at stable or affordable prices,”.

The reduction of the huge import bill which depends on the industry’s ability to increase production is also expected to save the nation millions in foreign currency.

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