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Govt to protect industry

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The inclusive government plans to capacitate and strengthen the countrys regulatory bodies to deal with the influx of products that are threatening local industry and would give priority to local producers of goods and services for its procurement requirements.

Under the National Trade Policy (NTP) launched by President Robert Mugabe last week, the government will make resources available to the Competition and Tariff Commission (CTC) and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra).

CTC is the investigating authority for unfair trade practices in the country while Zimra is responsible for administering rules of origin, which are laws used to determine the source of imported goods.

Government will capacitate and strengthen the investigating authority for it to be able to establish the existence of unfair trade practices caused by dumping and subsidised imports, with a view to initiating anti-dumping action as well as instituting countervailing measures, reads part of the NTP.

The government is concerned with the influx of goods entering Zimbabwe under the guise of preferential trading arrangements.

The customs authority, Zimra, will be capacitated to undertake thorough investigations in the perceived countries of origin with a view to plug the loopholes and deter smuggling.

According to the NTP, the economic decline in the past decade had exposed local consumers to imported goods resulting in the country experiencing a negative trade balance since 2002.

As part of a strategy to ensure the import bill estimated at $6 billion is contained, the government says it would be essential to promote consumption of locally-manufactured goods and services.

Industry and commerce is strongly encouraged to source their raw materials and inputs locally where these are readily available, the document said.

Mugabe last week launched the Industrial Development Policy (IDP) and NTP that seek to reboot the countrys moribund economy.

The two policies were developed as part of the implementation of the countrys national development strategy, the Medium Term Plan (2011-2015) launched in July last year.

Through the IDP (2012-2016) government seeks to restore manufacturing sectors contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 15% to 30% by 2016.

The NTP seeks to increase exports from $4,3 billion in 2011 to $7 billion in 2016.

The countrys political problems have impacted negatively on its economy with several Western countries imposing sanctions on some state owned companies.

The government plans to create a well resourced financing institution dedicated to provide industrial needs and funds to distressed strategic companies.

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