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Buy Zimbabwe welcomes positive move on imports

by Staff reporter
06 Feb 2024 at 17:49hrs | Views
BUY Zimbabwe has said the Government's recent decision to reinstate import duties on basic commodities was a progressive development that will contribute to a fairer competitive landscape for domestically produced goods.

This comes after the repeal of emergency measures taken in May last year to allow duty-free imports when shortages and price manipulations were accelerating price rises.

The repeal of the duty-free status was gazetted last week by the Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion, Professor Mthuli Ncube in Customs and Excise (Suspension) (Amendment) Regulations, 2024 (No. 272).

In a statement, Buy Zimbabwe's general manager (GM), Mr Alois Burutsa said the move to repeal the duty-free status will boost the domestic economy.

"We would like to highlight the potential of this move to incentivize consumers towards choosing locally-made products, thereby bolstering the domestic economy and fostering job growth. The development will help increase capacity utilisation and deepen economies of scale, translating to lower prices on the domestic market," he said.

"The reintroduction of import duties serves not only to stimulate the local economy but also levels the playing field for domestic products in comparison to their foreign counterparts."

He said the numerous foreign products that were finding their way duty-free into the wholesale and retail outlets benefited from rebates or subsidies in their home countries, providing them with an unfair advantage over locally manufactured goods.

Mr Burutsa said the absence of competitive pricing for local products resulted in diminished sales and profitability for domestic companies.

"There are instances where local producers have been compelled to reduce prices to sub-economic levels to compete with imported goods, adversely affecting their financial performance.

"Buy Zimbabwe is also aware that the prevailing price differential between local and foreign products has precipitated a substantial loss of foreign currency as consumers increasingly turn to imported alternatives," he added.

"It is our strong belief that if the local industry is supported by the Government through policies that promote local content, Zimbabwean companies will not only provide products which are cheaper and competitive, but can also satisfy local market demand and the export market."

He said as Buy Zimbabwe they remain committed to the production, promotion and preference of local products and services to create and preserve jobs, wealth and pride.

Source - The Sunday News