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Local Investors Call for Equal Treatment On Economic Zones

Local producers have welcomed the government’s Special Economic Zones framework targeted at attracting foreign direct investment into the country, saying they should also benefit from the policy to boost their production.

In an interview with 263Chat during the Buy Zimbabwe tour on Tuesday, Lotus Stationary manufacturers, Rank Finance Director, Ketan Naik said they have a strong feeling that local manufacturers will be left behind when it comes to FDI.

“Our current push at the moment is,you know with the new dispensation and the positivity that is being created,we have a strong feeling that with the Special Economic Zones and FDI,its us the local manufacturers who are left behind.

“We have been running for 30 years and the government quickly forgets that while they are trying to attract foreign investors it will be a detriment to local investors.

“Our communication with the government is to say we are very welcome to FDI but give us the same opportunity,if a foreign investor wants to come in and set up a book manufacturing operation that will be fine since it will bring competition but whatever being offered to him should also be offered to us,” said Naik.

He added that they are currently working on a new exercise books machine to double their current production.

“We know specifically in Zimbabwe what the teachers,headmasters and schools want and our products are very different to what other countries like South Africa produces.

“On that end we are investing further on our equipment , in 2016 we procured the first automated counter book machine ion Southern Africa and it costed about a million dollars to invest.

“It was a big risk we took because in 2015,2016 it was difficult but we have done it for the benefit of our market and prior to that all counter books were imported and our market have increased.

“We are currently working on a new machine for exercise books to double our current production for exercise books,our current capacity we make about five million books per month and we want it to be ten million,” added Naik.

Rank Zimbabwe is the largest stationery manufacturer and distributor in Zimbabwe established in 1981.

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