ZIM-SA TRADE TALKS TACKLE SI64

Im­port re­stric­tions to last be­tween two and three years

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Harare Bureau

ZIMBABWE has told South Africa that the im­port re­stric­tions in­tro­duced in June this year through Statu­tory In­stru­ment 64 of 2016 will last be­tween two and three years.

SI 64 of 2016 re­moved 42 prod­ucts from the open gen­eral im­port li­cence, re­strict­ing their im­por­ta­tion into Zimbabwe, as it was felt that lo­cal in­dus­try has ca­pac­ity to pro­duce them.

The leg­is­la­tion con­trols a wide ar­ray of im­ports among them cof­fee cream­ers, cam­phor creams, white petroleum jel­lies, body lo­tions, builders’ ware such as wheel bar­rows, struc­tures and parts of struc­tures of iron or steel, bridges and bridge sec­tions, lock gates, lat­tice masts, roof, roof frame­works and doors.

As such, dur­ing the lat­est chap­ter of bi­lat­eral trade and eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion meet­ings with South Africa, In­dus­try and Com­merce Min­is­ter Mike Bimha ap­prised his South African coun­ter­part, Mr Rob Davies, on the back­ground to the present state of in­dus­try and, cir­cum­stances lead­ing to the re­stric­tions.

While the Gov­ern­ment will con­trol im­por­ta­tion of prod­ucts, where it has been proven goods can be pro­duced lo­cally, it will also mo­bilise fund­ing to sup­port the re­cov­ery of ar­eas pro­tected through SI 64 mea­sures.

“These mea­sures are time bound. They are not there for­ever. Two to three years is what we’re look­ing at,” Min­is­ter Bimha said.

He said a mon­i­tor­ing and eval­u­a­tion com­mit­tee has been put in place to as­sess the im­pact of the mea­sures.

Among the key trade is­sues dis­cussed dur­ing the meet­ing in South Africa on Thurs­day were the im­port con­trol mea­sures Zimbabwe in­tro­duced through SI 64 and the re­quire­ment by South Africa for phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal im­ports to en­ter the coun­try by air.

Ad­dress­ing jour­nal­ists in Harare yes­ter­day in the pres­ence of In­for­ma­tion, Me­dia and Broad­cast­ing Ser­vices Min­is­ter Chris Mushohwe, Min­is­ter Bimha said Pre­to­ria wel­comed his sub­mis­sion on the jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for im­port con­trols while Harare would look into South Africa’s re­quest for duty or tax phase down on cer­tain prod­ucts or out­right re­moval.

“These mea­sures were well re­ceived by our coun­ter­parts. South Africa (trade min­is­ter) em­pha­sised that they cher­ish the good re­la­tions be­tween our two coun­tries and ac­knowl­edged the role trade plays in the economies of our coun­tries,” he said.

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