By Owen Mandovha
The retail and wholesale sector owes its recovery and success to the improving economic environment, which includes increased allocation of foreign currency to the manufacturing industry.
The country’s retail sector is among a host of economic sub-sectors, which have been spurred by the progressive economic reforms instituted by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) that include the establishment of the foreign exchange auction system.
During Thursday evening’s Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) Wholesalers and Retailers Awards ceremony held in Harare, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Deputy Director- Economic Research, Mr Nebson Mupunga hinted that manufacturing capacity gains which have increased the availability of affordable local products can only be attributed to such reforms.
“The RBZ is optimistic that the economic gains so far registered have been at the instigation of the RBZ and Treasury and it is upon this foundation that the sector retail and wholesale sector has been rebooted,” said Mupunga.
Varun Beverages, which grabbed an award in the top 100 retailers’ category commended government for its unwavering support which is helping to nurture foreign capital.
“Zimbabwe is the fastest growing market of all our units on the continent and the support being granted by government at all levels has helped us to record such a fantastic record. The challenges of foreign currency are now a thing of the past and we are glad with the inroads we have made over the years since our establishment,” Varun Beverages Director Fungai Murahwa said.
CZR President, Mr Denford Mutashu rallied his members to be ethical in their dealings in support of government economic reform agenda.
He said: “We urge all retailers and wholesalers countrywide to render Government the necessary support in terms of abiding to the economic laws of the country and this include the use of foreign currency for its intended purpose.”
Statistics show that the uptake of locally produced goods on supermarkets shelves has steadily increased to at least 70 percent and stakeholders believe the trajectory will continue in line with the local content policy targets.