The executives will get to mingle with their consumers and also witness the launch of the Buy Zimbabwe insignia and certification standard which shall be used on the local and international market as an identifier of Zimbabwean products that are homegrown, high quality and are committed to creating jobs for the majority of unemployed Zimbabweans.
Despite the numerous milestones to be celebrated the major concern that the Chief Executives will share on the day is the sustainability of their businesses considering the inconsistent policy environment that Zimbabwe is currently operating under.
The expiration of the current duty-free regime at the end of June is an opportunity for Zimbabwe to revisit its policy framework on the import and export of goods, services and raw materials.
The position of Buy Zimbabwe is to push for a policy framework that is more suited for a growing economy and encourages competitiveness of both local and foreign products on the local market.
While imported finished goods are finding their way into the country at 0 percent duty, local companies import raw materials at anything between five to 25 percent duties depending on the class of raw materials.
“This contributes to the cost build-up on finished local products,” a Buy Zimbabwe Campaign spokesman said.
“Worsened by the low capacity utilisation, high operating costs and uncertainties in the operating environment the majority of local companies have had to transfer cost to the consumer through high prices for the local products and services that they so love.”
He said Buy Zimbabwe appreciated the relevance of the duty free regime on finished basic commodities introduced by the Government at a time of severe shortages.
“Close examination of the current policy on duty, however, reveals that it is largely skewed towards foreign products and threatens the survival of local companies,” he said.
“As Buy Zimbabwe, we encourage Government to ensure that the importation of goods is not at the expense of local businesses that have over the years been rendered uncompetitive in the face of an influx of foreign alternatives.”