Lockdown to stimulate local industry

Analysts have described the Covid-19-induced lockdown as a big opportunity for local companies to plug supply chain gaps and harness government’s local content policy which is a huge pillar in the National Development Strategy One.

United Kingdom-based Zimbabwean entrepreneur, Mr Nkosinathi Zvimba says the Covid-19 global lockdown has allowed local firms to fill in the gaps left by foreign suppliers and boost government’s local content policy.

“If you look closely, many countries which depend on foreign products for national consumption have been exposed, for example here in the UK, because there is a robust local manufacturing sector which has helped avert any potential crisis.

“For Zimbabwe it is a broad giant step where local companies have stepped in by increasing local production to replace imports as this will develop the country further economically,” he said.

Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce President, Dr Tinashe Manzungu said although the pandemic continues to present its own challenges, huge opportunities abound for the private sector.

 “The local private sector has demonstrated its own capacity to match foreign producers of goods and this lockdown has been a blessing in disguise in further ensuring that we have to do things on our own, but it is critical that we are competitive so as to sustain that trajectory,” said Dr Manzunzu.

National Business Council of Zimbabwe President, Mr Langton Mabhanga acknowledged that the pandemic has laid bare the urgent need to become self-reliant from a production point of view.

“We cannot as a country talk of the national economic reform agenda under NDS 1 if we remain stuck in importing goods hence the pandemic has shown us that the only way is to locally produce our own food and also making sure that we are competitive,” he said.

A snap survey conducted by this ZBC News revealed that local products have gradually replaced imports in the country’s supermarket shelves, with the latest figures from the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency also confirming the decline in merchandise imports over the past year.

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