Zim goods register growth in SA market

Buy Zimbabwe CEO Munyaradzi Hwengwere

LOCAL goods promoter Buy Zimbabwe says there has been an increase in Zimbabwean products on the South African market.

South Africa remains Zimbabwe’s largest trading partner though trade is heavily skewed in favour of the southern African neighbour.

Worsening matters is that most Zimbabweans still prefer imported products due to better standards, safety and affordability.

Speaking to NewsDay Business, Buy Zimbabwe chief executive officer Munyaradzi Hwengwere, however, said Zimbabwean products were beginning to find their way on foreign shelves.

“As we speak, I am in South Africa, in a market survey. We are pleasantly surprised at the growth of Zimbabwe products in South Africa. The challenge we have heard is inconsistency,” he said.

“We are set to be engaging local companies to take advantage of this economy. We are making substantial progress in our discussions with Praz (Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe), currently working on modalities for implementation.”

He said the supply of local products in South Africa was driven by the informal sector.

“We have a vague idea of market possibilities in South Africa and have not properly planned for production for it,” Hwengwere said.

In December, this paper revealed that Buy Zimbabwe was in talks with Praz to prioritise locally-produced goods and services as part of the promoter’s efforts to shift the market’s reliance on foreign goods and services to local.

Commenting on local supermarkets that have been flooded with imported goods, Hwengwere said he was not against that but he was concerned about fair trade practices which allowed local products space on the market.

“We are not against imports but balanced trade,” he said.“We are making substantial progress in our discussions with the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe.”

Praz is the regulatory authority that supervises public procurement to ensure transparency, fairness, honesty, cost-effectiveness and competition as required by section 315 of the Zimbabwean Constitution.

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