The Government of Zimbabwe has released a new industrial policy that aims to revive the country's ailing textile and garment industry.
The new industrial policy document released by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce seeks to introduce measure to curb the “dumping” of textiles and clothing items into the country.
The Government will review the existing tariffs on apparel imports as well as duty-free allowance given to individuals to bring in garments into the country, according to the new policy document.
The new policy identifies the textile sector as one of the channels for the development of manufacturing industry in the country.
The policy also envisages enforcement of quality standards and verifying the authenticity of certificates of origin to ensure that sub-standard goods are not offloaded in Zimbabwe, Welschman Ncube, Minister of Industry and Commerce said.
In recent times, Zimbabwe has witnessed a flood of apparels pouring into the country from Botswana, China and South Africa, with some of the consignments entering the country without payment of duty due to lack of control at border posts. This has not only deprived the Government of the much-wanted revenue, but has also made domestic goods uncompetitive. In this context, the Minister said the Government would implement stricter controls at border posts.
Furthermore, the Zimbabwean Government would request the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to relax its “rule of origin”, which provides that apparels produced in Zimbabwe must use fabric made within Southern Africa to enjoy preferential access within SADC.
In the 1990s, Zimbabwean textile sector employed more than 18,000 people, but the number has gone down to about 3,000 people at present. The use of obsolete machines, long power cuts, high utility and operating costs combined with high interest rates have affected investment in the country's textile sector.
Fibre2fashion News Desk - India