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Garment sector hit by skewed duty structure
Apr '10
The Zimbabwean garment production sector faces severe challenges to revive itself, as duty-free finished goods continue to get imported into the country's domestic markets.

Industrial experts claim that, Zimbabwe is slowly turning into a dump-yard for cheap quality and low-priced finished goods, thereby, jeopardising thousands of jobs in the country. Following this, the government officials were forced to bring into play World Trade Organisation's (WTO) laws to help safeguard the domestic industry.

According to Peter Webster Muzariri, Chairman, Clothing Manufacturer's Association of Zimbabwe, “The garment production sector has been facing various problems. One of the problems, that the industry faces, is the import duty tariff structure, wherein a duty is levied on most of the imported fabrics, but finished goods, like clothing have a duty-free entry into the local market.”

Muzariri also said that, there was an immediate requirement for the government to subsidise production of the key industrial sectors through the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, as the trading environment was undergoing price discrepancies owing to duty-free imports of finished goods, thereby, forcing the domestic industrial sectors to compete with low-priced and sometimes even illegally imported products.

As many firms have been working below capacity, Muzariri said that, it was time to improve operations with the help of a proper government policy. Therefore, government should now put into action the WTO rule which states that a country has got the rights to protect itself from turning into a dump-yard.

While Muzariri welcomes joint ventures between industrial players, international investors and business owners, an industrial analyst, said that, the textile sector should receive special treatment from government, so that more amount of domestically produced goods are considered over imported goods, by the consumers.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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