The Sunday Mail
Prices of goods and services have been relatively stable during second half of the year as the exchange rate stabilised and local production increased, Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza said.
Some companies took advantage of disruptions to global supply chains resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic and filled in the supply gap.
The launch of the Foreign Currency Auction System on June 23 improved access to foreign currency for importing critical raw materials to supply industry needs.
“The Ministry of Industry and Commerce, working together with industry, has managed to tame price instability that had characterised the first half of the year,” said Minister Nzenza.
“Industry has responded to the ministry’s Local Content Strategy as witnessed by increased local sourcing of raw materials. The commercial sector also had a positive response to the Buy Local Strategy, which resulted in more than 80 percent of goods on the shelves of most retailers being locally manufactured.
“Government will therefore continue implementing the import substitution strategy as it is critical for increased local production, employment creation and stabilisation of prices on the domestic market.”
The auction system has been supplying industry, which requires US$100 million per month to import critical raw materials, with sufficient allocations.
Funds have been channelled to small and medium enterprises.
Dr Nzenza said: “Industry has reported increased capacity utilisation as a result of the auction system and business confidence has gone up . . .
“It is as a result of this stability that we now have improved business confidence, which we need for business, investment and economic growth.
“On the supply side, stability has brought in an improvement in the aggregate supply of goods and services on the local market. Companies are now able to budget or plan long-term, which should improve productivity, output and economic growth.
“Consumers can now save and plan on consumption and not panic buy as we were witnessing during the period of shortages.”
She said retailers had been spared the inconvenience of constantly changing prices to keep up with the exchange rate.
Sustainable price stability and growth, she added, would only be buttressed by policies such as the Zimbabwe National Industrialisation Development Policy (2019 to 2023), the Local Content Strategy and the new National Development Strategy 1 (2021 to 2025), as well as other Government policies that are meant to achieve Vision 2030.
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce, working together with industry, has managed to tame price instability that had characterised the first half of the year . . .