Following the announcement made by Government on measures to address resurgent macroeconomic instability and stabilise local currency volatility on the 11th of May 2023, Buy Zimbabwe held a meeting to discuss the measures today.
In a statement, Buy Zimbabwe Chairman Munyaradzi Hwengwere revealed that the members agreed on the need to continue engaging government to refine its policies to promote production and consumption of local products and services.
“While noting the new measures, business felt the need to level the playing field between local producers and foreign suppliers.
“ For example, local sugar manufacturers are required to fortify their product yet unfortified sugar has been allowed to enter the local market.
“Buy Zimbabwe also noted that previously when government has allowed duty free imports of certain products, there has been a general rise in the smuggling of products not covered by the Open General Import Licence (OGIL), suggesting the need to enhance monitoring of the country’s borders,” reads the statement.
He added that the members agreed on the need to increase engagement with local consumers , pointing to the quality of local products.
“In the meeting the position of business was that they are not averse to competition but opening the country’s borders to imports must be accompanied by efforts directed at reducing cost and enhancing ease of doing business for local companies.
“In the main, Buy Zimbabwe members agreed on the need to increase engagement with local consumers to emphasise quality of Zimbabwean products and the role of local production in promoting the industrialisation agenda.
“Buy Zimbabwe remains committed to the production, promotion and preference of local products and services to create and preserve jobs, wealth and pride,” he said.
Import duty and import VAT was suspended on 10 basic goods which are maize meal, rice, milk, flour, salt, cooking oil, petroleum jelly, toothpaste, bath soap and washing powder.
The suspension shall be valid for six months from yesterday and is likely to force Zimbabwean producers to keep their prices within the limits of foreign competitors, especially as retailers and wholesalers can now keep all the foreign currency they collect from customers.