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Buy Zimbabwe lauds duty return on essential goods

by Staff reporter
07 Feb 2024 at 04:40hrs | Views
Buy Zimbabwe has welcomed the Government's recent decision to reinstate import duties on essential goods as a positive development that will create a more level playing field for domestically produced goods.

Last year, the Government suspended import duties on selected key commodities to mitigate rising prices for consumers. The affected commodities include maize meal, milk, sugar, rice, flour, salt, soap, washing powder, and toothpaste.

Buy Zimbabwe general manager Mr Alois Burutsa said the new measures would incentivise local product choices, leading to a stronger domestic economy and job creation.

"We would like to highlight the potential of this move to incentivise consumers towards choosing locally-made products, thereby bolstering the domestic economy and fostering job growth," said Mr Burutsa. He said the reinstatement of the duty would lead to factories operating at higher capacity and producing more efficiently, ultimately resulting in lower prices for consumers.

"The development will help increase capacity utilisation and deepen economies of scale, translating to lower prices on the domestic market," said Mr Burutsa. "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.

"We need to acknowledge that numerous foreign products that were finding their way duty-free into our wholesale and retail outlets benefit from rebates or subsidies in their home countries, providing them with an unfair advantage over locally manufactured goods."

Furthermore, concerns have been raised over the lack of competitive pricing for local products compared to imports. This resulted in lower sales and profitability for domestic companies.

In some cases, local producers have been forced to reduce prices to unsustainable levels to remain competitive, significantly impacting their financial viability.

"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. 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.

Mr Burutsa reiterated Buy Zimbabwe's ongoing commitment to supporting the production, promotion, and preference of locally made goods and services, highlighting its role in job creation, economic prosperity, and national pride.

For over a decade, Buy Zimbabwe has spearheaded the drive to encourage local procurement and consumption, making domestic products a core focus.

This aligns with the Government's national development strategy, with Vision 2030 placing the "Buy Zimbabwe" campaign at the forefront of achieving its goals.

Source - The Herald