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Textile industry appeals for forex

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The Zimbabwe Textile Manufacturers’ Association has appealed to the government to prioritise the textile industry by timeously disbursing foreign currency to ensure members meet their obligations and remain in business.

BY STAFF REPORTER

As the current liquidity crisis continues to bite, the government undertook to assist some struggling companies so that they access foreign currency with ease.

People have resorted to buying foreign currency on the black market at exorbitant rates, thereby distorting prices on the market. Others were hoarding cash for speculative purposes.

Zimbabwe Textile Manufacturer’s Association secretary-general Raymond Huni yesterday said the textile industry needed urgent intervention to avert a total collapse.

“The Zimbabwe Textile Manufacturers’ Association is receiving complaints on a daily basis from textile companies regarding accessibility of foreign currency. We need the government to allocate them foreign currency just like what is happening in other sectors,” Huni said.

“We have a situation where the biggest blanket and linen manufacturer is struggling to get foreign currency to remain in business. The company supplies blankets to the army, hospitals, hotels and schools and is obligated to the nation for the supply of blankets and bedding accessories.

“The company has a staff complement of 800 people who are at risk of losing their jobs if the company fails to get money to purchase raw materials.”

Huni said there were similar complaints from hosiery manufacturers and that the situation was getting out of hand and expressed fear that should nothing be done immediately they would be faced with a disaster as the matter required the immediate intervention of government.

“As the textile industry we are appealing to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Ministry of Finance and that of Industry to consider allocating forex to genuine manufacturers for raw materials that are not available locally,” he said.

“Once there is easy access to foreign currency, our industry will start exporting and earn the much-needed foreign currency.”
The association said the government should also consider raising the export incentive from 5% to 25%..

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