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Foreign SMEs dominate city centre

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Harare’s Central Business District (CBD) is now dominated by small- to- medium-scale foreign traders due to high rental charges, a recent study by Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) has revealed.

ZNCC economist Kipson Gundani said they conducted the survey to identify who was occupying most space in the city centre and the majority of small traders proved to be Nigerians and Chinese.

“We have observed that the greater part of small traders’ shops in the CBD are dominated by foreigners as a result of high rental prices which the locals cannot afford,” he said.

The survey has shown clothing shops accounting for the bulk of front windows in the capital.

Clothing shops make up a total 420 ground-floor window shops accounting for 33% of activity in the CBD while motor spares and services are at 22%.

“This development reflects the economy has basically become a trading economy as 50% of the retail is made from imported goods,” Gundani said.

Supermarkets and tuckshops are at 6%, electrical shops are at 10% while furniture and hardware combined make up 4%.

Gundani said food outlets make up a relative portion of these small businesses, with the largest concentration around the middle of town at 5%.

There are around 14 shopping malls and 28 car sales dealerships in the CBD.

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