HomeBusinessZim Grain Bag MD warns against imports

Zim Grain Bag MD warns against imports

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BY NIZBERT MOYO
GOVERNMENT has been urged to protect local industries by restricting imports, which mostly land on the domestic market at cheaper prices.

A top executive said the importation of finished products had amplified an already bad situation for Zimbabwe’s industries.

The remarks were made by Zimbabwe Grain Bag managing director Cavin Nkiwane during a tour of the firm by Bulawayo Metropolitan Affairs minister Judith Ncube.

Ncube was accompanied by government officials, mainly from the Industry and Commerce ministry.

Nkiwane complained that there were delays in accessing foreign currency allotted at the auction market.

The firm imports about 95% of its raw materials.

“For example the other one that  we  applied for was approved on August 31. It is more than two months now but we are still waiting for it. The latest (application) was approved on October 26, which means we will get it next year. It is a delay that is affecting us business-wise, big time. The government must also cut imports of finished products to protect us so that we remain in business,’’said Nkiwane.

He urged the government to revise the tender system, expressing concern that foreign companies were being allowed to bid for projects locally.

“We used to have a staff complement of more than 300 workers, but due to the pandemic we have reduced to 250 workers, but business is picking up compared to last year, demand has picked up, we are  supplying fertilizer and seed companies. The mining industry is also our major market,’’ he said.

Ncube urged  industries to  strategise and come up with recommendations to the government so that they maximise on production now that the country has managed the COVID-19 crisis.

“We appreciate your efforts, Zimbabwe Grain Bag. Last year we were affected by COVID-19. It is a new normal, everyone was afraid. Now that we are able to work around the pandemic, we need to come up with strategies to accelerate production,’’ said Ncube.

 

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