THE Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) says restricted products were still finding their way into the country illegally, making the competition unfair for the local manufacturers.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
CZI Matabeleland Chapter president, Joseph Gunda, told NewsDay that cheap and restricted products were still finding their way into the country, hence affecting the performance of the local industry.
“Our borders remain porous and measures must be put in place for the establishment of strict monitoring controls on issuance of import licences and enforcement controls at points of entry to eliminate entry of cheap imports of goods that are manufactured locally,” Gunda said.
“We are facing challenges of competition from imported but restricted products that are still finding their way through the porous borders. Complete revival of existing industries and those that are closed but remain low hanging fruits and potential subjects of quick resuscitation can only be achieved through enforcement of laws and policies.”
Government in 2016 introduced stringent regulations meant to control the importation of goods that are available locally. The regulations were gazetted under Statutory Instrument (SI) 64 of 2016 by the ministry of Industry and Commerce.
Recently, government repealed SI 64 of 2016 and consolidated various import licensing regulations under the newly gazetted Statutory Instrument 122 of 2017.
The move was part of broader government efforts to enhancing ease of doing business and address regulatory bottlenecks that are blamed for inhibiting exports.
Under SI 122, government removed all, except four strategic products — fertilizers, secondhand equipment, sugar, gypsum — from export licensing requirements.
Gunda said delays of clearance of raw materials and spares at the country’s ports of entry were also a cause for concern for local manufacturers.
He pleaded with government to fully implement Statutory Instruments 122 of 2017.
Gunda said the shortage of foreign currency has contributed to the current distortions in pricing of commodities on the market as industry was struggling to supply local products consistently due to raw material shortages.
He said companies were struggling to get forex through the normal means from the central bank, resulting in some sourcing it from the parallel market, a situation which is unsustainable as they cannot absorb the additional cost and end up passing that cost, to the detriment of the consumer..