Bata forced to im­port tex­tile from Kenya

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle -

down­siz­ing its operations and fail­ing to meet lo­cal de­mand for tex­tiles.

Bata man­ag­ing direc­tor Mr Ehsan Za­man told Busi­ness Chron­i­cle that in light of the short­age of tex­tiles, the com­pany is im­port­ing tex­tile from Kenya.

He said the devel­op­ment has pushed the cost of pro­duc­tion up.

Said Mr Za­man: “We are not get­ting con­sis­tent sup­plies of tex­tiles for our fac­tory and we em­ploy for our can­vass fac­tory around 250 work­ers. So this is very sen­si­tive for us and there­fore we ap­plied to Govern­ment for per­mis­sion to im­port spe­cific quan­tity and the re­sponse was pos­i­tive.”

“The cost of doing busi­ness in the coun­try is al­ready high and by im­port­ing from Kenya it be­comes even higher. We would there­fore pre­fer to buy lo­cally to be com­pet­i­tive and get bet­ter qual­ity ma­te­ri­als,” he added.

Mr Za­man said im­port­ing tex­tiles might have a neg­a­tive im­pact on the com­pany’s ex­ports mainly in the re­gion.

The Gweru-based shoe man­u­fac­turer ex­ports some of its prod­ucts such as ten­nis shoes to Zam­bia, Malawi and Botswana.

Bata re­quires 700 000 square me­tres of tex­tile an­nu­ally to sat­isfy de­mand for its can­vas fac­tory.

The short­age of tex­tiles comes at a time when the com­pany has in­creased ca­pac­ity util­i­sa­tion to more than 90 per­cent com­pared to the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor’s av­er­age of 47,4 per­cent.

In­dus­try and Com­merce Min­is­ter Mike Bimha said his min­istry was work­ing hand in hand with other min­istries to en­sure raw ma­te­ri­als that can be sourced lo­cally are availed to com­pa­nies.

“The is­sue of the cot­ton in­dus­try and the value chain is of ut­most im­por­tance to us and hence the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, Mech­a­ni­sa­tion and Ir­ri­ga­tion Devel­op­ment has started dis­tribut­ing cot­ton in­puts so that we in­crease lo­cal pro­duc­tion for the ben­e­fit of in­dus­try,” he said. @lavuzi­gara1

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