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Ministry of Finance firm on saving textile industry
Nov '10
Zimbabwe's Ministry of Finance is firm on safeguarding its textile and clothing industry, which is confronted with major threats of low-cost imports from China. The Ministry, which recently convened country wide consultative meetings as a part of its budget 2011's agenda, voiced its apprehension regarding the industry's distressing situation.

The producers and retailers have urged the Government to impose a ban on imports of low-cost Chinese products with immediate effect. The cross border traders are requesting the government to slash the taxes to help them withstand the aggressive competition in the industry.

The already established retailers too are now complaining that, import of low-cost Chinese products, widely known as zhing zhongs, is greatly harming the domestic industry, and is thus detrimental to their interest.

Conversely, the cross border traders from Mutare are upset with Zimbabwe's police and immigration authorities who are troubling them, as they try to bring in the cheap second hand bales of clothing in the country. Presently, the border authorities are seizing all the goods that are illegally smuggled into the country.

Further, the consultative meetings, that the Finance Ministry is conducting, are likely to help in collecting input for 2011 budget and, it accepted that the sector is seeking the government's intervention in safeguarding the industry.

An industry expert here voiced his concerns over the inactiveness of the authorities, who continue to be mere spectators, as China is dumping its low-cost products in the country. Such cheap imports of inferior Chinese products have adversely affected the growth and feasibility of the country's clothing industry, he added.

He also stated that, if the industry is properly safeguarded it has the competence to develop into a major force enabling the country's economic growth, and also to considerably bring down the unemployment level in the country. There is a plan to check the illegal importation of low-cost inferior products in the country. But, only that the plan is still in its initial stages.

Fibre2fashion News Desk-India

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