Industry records 30% up in uptake of local products
DEMAND for locally manufactured products has risen by average 30 percent since the implementation of Statutory Instrument 64, placing domestic companies on solid footing for growth, an official said.
e Government enacted S.I 64/2016 in June this year as part of measures to control rampant imports that had flooded the market and threatening the viability of local firms.
The new legislation removes several commodities, which are manufactured locally, from the open general import licence category.
The Government has made it clear that the S.I 64 does not mean a “ban” on imported products in Zimbabwe but rather that importers now need to apply for an import permit before bringing the product.
Among the affected products are processed foods, building materials, furniture and pharmaceutical products.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) president Mr Busisa Moyo told the industry body’s Midlands Chapter that companies have started benefiting from S.I.64.
“After the introduction of S.I.64 companies have registered an increase in orders from the market of between 30 to 50 percent for the products restricted under the Statutory Instrument,” he told the business gathering.
“Right now we are doing an impact assessment of the Statutory Instrument but the indications we have now show an improvement in orders.”
Mr Moyo said it was “very possible” that, riding on the legislative support by the Government, the manufacturing industry would reach the 65 percent capacity utilisation projected this year.
“Because of the S.I. we believe as industry we can record an increase in capacity utilisation from 34 percent we recorded last year to 65 percent. Some industries are already above the 65 percent mark. So the S.I. has been a positive development in general,” he said.
Mr Moyo said as a result of the S.I. imports had also gone down by 14 percent. He said the new law would also have a positive bearing on employment.
“The more the orders increase, the more the business for the manufacturing industry and the more employment created,” he said.
Mr Moyo said there was a need to talk to employees on the benefits of this Government initiative as well as members of the public.
He said all in all there were now about 40 restricted goods under different Statutory Instruments since 2013.
“We have detergents, cooking oil, milk among other products in the list of about 40 products,” he said. — @pchitumba1