By Stanely James Business Editor
ZIMBABWE continues to lose millions of dollars yearly to smuggling, which industrialists have described as a huge blow to the import substitution drive.
Concern is being raised over the inflow of foreign goods that can be manufactured or produced locally.
Buy Zimbabwe General Manager Mr Alois Burutsa and Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce Past President Mr Luxon Zembe speak on the impact of smuggling on the import substitution drive.
“Indeed we are losing a lot due to the smuggled imports you talk of revenues and jobs indeed the list is endless so there is that need to find out the best possible way to address the challenge,” he said.
“Above addressing the smuggling challenge, Zimbabwe needs to take advantage of its comparative advantage in terms of trade and focus on quality goods at affordable prices to mitigate the effects of imports on the entire economy,” he added.
Under the import substitution drive, firms are also expected to value-add their products to improve of quality and value inorder to enhance competitiveness of local products.
Import substitution refers to government strategies that emphasise replacement of agricultural and industrial imports to encourage local production for local consumption.
Import substitution is popular in economies with a large domestic market. For large economies, promoting local industries provides several advantages: employment creation, import reduction and saving in foreign currency that reduces the pressure on foreign reserves.