Friday, February 20, 2009

(HERALD) Re-open international credit lines: Zimtrade

Re-open international credit lines: Zimtrade
Business Reporter

THERE is an urgent need to re-open international credit lines to revive Zimbabwe’s industry which has been operating at an average 10 percent capacity, Zimtrade chief executive Mr Herbert Chakanyuka has said.

In an interview with the Herald Business this week, Mr Chakanyuka said: "Operational costs are the major drawback that affecting our industry hence there is need to quickly re-open credit lines to capacitate the sector that has been reeling from under funding ".

He said the availability of credit lines and offshore loans, through financial institutions such as the PTA Bank, World Bank and International Monetary Fund would go a long way in boosting production.

"Local manufacturing has been seriously compromised by lack of inputs while skills flight continues unabated. Zimbabwean producers should re-strategise if the country is to regain its regional competitive edge."

He, however, said Zimbabwe was currently facing challenges of loss of industrial capacity while more finished products were being imported. Zimtrade had already started preparing for regional and international trade fairs for this year.

He urged companies to strive to export finished goods, which he said was the only way to earn the much-needed foreign currency.Currently firms are exporting semi-finished goods, which earn less on the international market.

"We need to produce finished goods, which are competitive in the market, thereby reviving the industry."

Zimtrade will soon conduct an export marketing training programme as part of preparations for this year’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair.

This is meant to equip marketing executives with knowledge to increase companies’ competitiveness on the export markets.

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