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‘70% of export firms closed’

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OVER 70% of exporting companies in the country shut down in the past decade, a ZimTrade’s Export Manufacturing Capacity Survey for 2013 released recently has revealed.

By Business Reporter

Addressing stakeholders at the official launch of the survey results in Bulawayo, key researcher and Africa Corporate Advisors managing director, Mike Nyamazana bemoaned the fact that local companies were failing to venture into the export market.

“About 71,4% of companies that used to export five to 10 years ago have stopped exporting,” said Nyamazana. “The major reasons for not exporting are hassles of the exporting process and producing for export, the quality of product has fallen, lack of skilled manpower and dollarisation eroded the price.”

He said most of the firms that are still exporting constituted a small percentage of the company’s total production.

“Of the companies surveyed, 40% are currently exporting whilst 60% of the firms surveyed are not exporting,” said Nyamazana. “During the same period, the country experienced a surge in imports owing to falling capacity utilisation in industry which fell to 10% in 2008, leading to a widening trade imbalance.”

He, however, said firms indicated that once the government comes up with export supporting or enhancing policies, most of them would be able to increase their levels of exports as they have the capacity and potential to do so.

Nyamazana said South Africa was the single leading export destination for Zimbabwean manufactured products.

Other export destinations in Sadc include Zambia, Mozambique and Botswana as well as Comesa countries such as Kenya and Malawi.

He said there was a need continue the on-going fight to eradicate corruption at border posts and consistent implementation of policies. He added that the indigenisation policy should be flexible enough to facilitate industrialisation and also ensure the availability of lower cost utilities.

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