BUY Zimbabwe is set to host the fourth edition of retailers and suppliers’ conference and expo on Wednesday with a thrust on protecting local industries.
BY BUSINESS REPORTER
The fourth edition of the Buy Zimbabwe Retailers and Suppliers’ Conference and Expo will be held at Cresta Lodge, in Harare.
Buy Zimbabwe said last week that this year’s edition would discuss on emerging issues surrounding protecting the local industry as a response to crisis for markets. It said this was underpinned by the realisation that economies survive by understanding that companies thrive only when their goods and services find a market.
“The existence of markets directly influences industrial performance and lack of markets has created internal economic challenges for Zimbabwe. There is a growing uncertainty over the future, but in the middle of this some sectors are thriving,” it said.
Buy Zimbabwe said the event would tackle a wide range of issues such as balancing consumer choices, profitability, and local procurement as well as producing more under the current conditions.
“This conference will facilitate all this through extensive dialogue and one on one match making sessions. Over 80 manufacturing companies, (large, medium and small) and more than 20 retailers are expected to attend the conference,” it said.
Industry and Commerce minister Mike Bimha will officially open the conference.
Buy Zimbabwe said a look into the market revealed a declining total retail sales, pointing to weak aggregate demand and about 50% of shelve space occupied by imported goods. Statistics from Zimstat showed that over 40% of imports into Zimbabwe were mainly consumer goods.
Government has come up with a raft of measures to promote local industries. As part of the measures, the government promulgated Statutory Instrument (SI) 64 of 2016, which restricts the importations of products had been available locally.
“The introduction of the SI64 has created opportunities in which manufactures and retailers need to take advantage of in order to restore the traditional economic system, where commerce act to support the industry in a system of interrelated and interdependent elements as partners in business,” Buy Zimbabwe said.