Cheap imports under scrutiny at Comesa talks

Cheap imports under scrutiny at Comesa talks
Published: 02 December 2013
The issue of cheap imports flooding the market has become a problem not only in Zimbabwe, where they have literally killed the manufacturing sector, but in the region as a whole.

According to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the continent has become A dumping ground for many exporters and importers that buy expired or close to expired products from global retailers.

Comesa and the Comesa Business Council will convene at the 9th Comesa Business Partnerships Forum and Linkages Fair in the Democratic Republic of Congo from February 21-22 next year to address these and other issues affecting the manufacturing industry on the continent. "The forum provides a platform for discussion and public private dialogue to proffer solutions on protecting African products against counterfeit and parallel imports," a statement from Comesa said. The forum will seek to ensure the promotion of intra-trade through strengthening regional supply chains and value chains providing a practical solution for member states.

It will also bring together the mobile innovations, telecommunications, financial, air and ground logistics companies present in Comesa, to discuss key models of partnerships that will address constraints of inefficiencies within the chains of manufacturing companies.

"The rationale is to agree on an approach that corporate companies - multinational and indigenous - can support, which localises Comesa's supply chain network and increases the capacity and efficiency of local SMEs to meet the demands along the value and supply chain of the various sectors so as to ensure a quality, standardised product reaches its intended market," the statement said.

The forum will be held under the theme "The Merger between Business and Innovation; Integrating Competitiveness for Supply and Value Chains in the Comesa Region".

In Zimbabwe, the problem of cheap imports has affected every sector of the economy including vehicle manufacturing, the sugar industry, poultry sector, retail as well as agricultural produce.

Although the cheap imports have been viewed as a welcome development by the majority of Zimbabweans who cannot afford locally produced goods, they have practically crippled the manufacturing industry.

Capacity utilisation in Zimbabwe fell to 39,6 percent this year from 44,9 percent last year mainly due to competition from imports.

As a result, the Government has decided to overhaul the current tariff regime with the view to protect locally produced goods.
- herald
Tags: Comesa, Imports,


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