By Michael Tome
Government should promote policies that stimulate individual and corporate consumption of locally produced goods and services, Buy Zimbabwe chairman Dr Anxious Masuka has said.
This development comes on the back of Zimbabwe’s ever ballooning import bill leading to the country’s perennial trade deficit over the years.
Addressing delegates at the belated year-end Buy Zimbabwe awards, Dr Masuka indicated that the current administration should work towards an atmosphere that encourage the manufacture of competitive local products that will consequently attract the already existing indigenous consumer base.
“Government policies should direct individual and corporate behaviour towards local production and consequently local consumption of goods and services, even through fiscal and monetary incentives and the creation of a conducive and competitive environment for these changed behaviours to flourish,” said Dr Masuka.
He implored the Government to continue working on refining productive capacity of major raw material producing industries like agriculture and mining thereby strengthening the base of critical local value chains.
“There should be enhancement of local productive capacity initially in the primary industries of agriculture and mining, via strong and sustainable linkages, and strong value chains, we can begin to reduce imports while simultaneously increasing and accelerating exports,” he said. In the same vein of promoting consumption of locally produced goods, Dr Masuka urged the industry to acquire some of their raw materials from local producers as it cut costs hence competitive pricing.
He bemoaned the country’s trade performance urging industries to move away from exporting raw minerals and agricultural produce without beneficiation.
“Industry should see the benefits of using local resources for the production of competitively – priced products and services considering that a ready market exist because customers are currently buying imported goods and services.
“We have an increasing, but comparatively low export performance, driven largely by primary and un-beneficiated products from mining and agriculture. Thus we have an unsustainably high trade deficit,” he said.
Zimbabwe has lately been on the drive to enhance value addition of mining and agriculture produce in order to realise maximum earnings from the country’s natural resources.
Buy Zimbabwe in 2018 partnered Proudly South African to learn on how it grew to become a brand to reckon regionally and internationally.
Source : The Herald