‘Local content policy will stimulate economy’

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GOVERNMENT’S decision to set at 80 percent the minimum local content threshold for all products is expected to stimulate growth in the economy. Cabinet on Tuesday approved the strategy, which forms part of interventions aimed at revitalising domestic production and instituting management of the country’s import bill, which spiked US$1,5 billion during four months to April 2019.

Buy Zimbabwe Company, which promotes domestic production and consumption, has hailed the move by Government. In a statement it said the approval of the Local Content Strategy (LCS) by Cabinet will inspire the development of local industry supply chains as well as promoting competitiveness.

“The approval of this LCS is expected to stimulate the use of local factors of production, such as labour, capital, supplies of goods and services, and technology to inspire the development of local industry supply chains as well as promoting competitiveness and local linkages amongst the agricultural, extractive, industrial and service sectors. The local content strategy is very crucial in the revival of the local industry and attainment of Vision 2030,” said Buy Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe is a resource-rich country with potential of producing essential products and basic commodities that are being imported in bulk, it said, adding that the LCS would help reduce the country’s high trade deficit

Buy Zimbabwe urged all stakeholders to take advantage of Cabinet’s move to fully prepare for the next phase of the local content regulations framework development through participation in various initiatives. The LCS comes at a time when the country has been experiencing scarcity of foreign currency needed for the importation of key commodities such as fuel and medicines.

In the policy document the Ministry of Industry and Commerce indicated that the strategy was targeted at boosting value addition through the use of local products, with the aim being centred on raising the current local content thresholds from 25 percent to 80 percent.

The policy document also took an export-led stance by stipulating that the country’s exports should grow by five percent annually between the period 2019-2023. Meanwhile, the 2019 annual Buy Zimbabwe Summit would be held in Bulawayo next month.–herald.co.zw

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