Wednesday, 22 September 2021

LOCAL PRODUCTS DOMINATE ZITF

ZIMBABWE’S manufacturing sector is on rebound as evidenced by the dominance of locally produced products being exhibited at the ongoing Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), which kicked off in Bulawayo yesterday.

Riding on the comprehensive economic policy reforms being implemented by the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa, the productive sector is increasing its output, and this has seen local industries reclaiming their shelf space in retail shops, as well as occupying most of the stands at the prime trade show.

According to the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), the largest industry body in the country, businesses are bullish about future prospects, with capacity utilisation at 47 percent in the first quarter of 2021 and projected at about 60 percent by December.

The spike in capacity utilisation is attributed to growing consumer demand and sales occasioned by the bumper harvest received this year, decline in inflationary pressures, stable energy and fuel supplies, as well as the improved access to foreign currency through the formal auction system.

Economic experts view the re-awakening of the local manufacturing sector as critical in assisting the country to substitute imports and taming the historic trade deficits. This drive, particularly the thrust to enhance domestic value addition and beneficiation, is at the heart of the Government’s National Development Strategy 1 (NDS 1 2021-2025), a key building bloc towards achievement of an upper middle-income economy vision by 2030.

A snap survey conducted by the Chronicle news crew at the ZITF yesterday revealed that most local companies were displaying Zimbabwean brands, which are being well-received in the local and export market.

Local higher learning institutions such as universities and colleges have also joined hands with industry players and are designing technologies and innovative solutions, which they are showcasing to support the re-industrialisation drive.

In separate interviews, the exhibitors, who included small to medium enterprises (SMES), said the fact that locally produced goods were dominating the space at the ZITF was an indication that the Government under the Second Republic was walking the talk regarding import substitution

Treger Products (Pvt) Ltd group marketing director, Ms Sithokozile Ndlovu, said increased local production was testimony that a number of local industries were now up and running.

“All those things that people used to see in South Africa, we are saying we can now make them in Zimbabwe. At Monarch Steel, we manufacture a whole range of building materials such as aluminium entrance and pivot doors, which is an indication that our local industries are now back on the track,” she said.

“We have also come up different types of kitchen units, which are also freestanding and giving a modern look in our new range. As Treger Products, this year we decided to show that we are also moving to the new normal by making sure that all the things that people require on a daily basis can also be found under one roof.” Chronicle

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