Zimbabwean retailers urge to impose ban on imported clothes

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2016-05-03 16:15:00 – Africa

Zimbabwean local industry due to the influx of cheaper products from Asia has been suffering a serious downturn and many companies have been driven out of business. The companies cannot compete because their cost structures are making their products very expensive. As a result, the

Zimbabwe Clothing Manufactures Associations is lobbying Government to impose a ban on finished clothes which is hurting their operations.

Industry players said that they were facing unfair competition from imported products mainly from China and Dubai. Retailers such as Edgars and Power Sales are also importing and this has to some extent caused a degree of tension in the industry.

According to analysts, with the domestic textile industry facing challenges, cheap imports will continue finding their way into the local market.

In June last year, Government banned the importation of second hand clothes and shoes, as part of economy wide measures to facilitate the recovery of domestic industry. However, second hand clothes continue finding their way into the country.

Zimbabwe is spending millions of dollars on importing clothes. At its peak, the industry employed 35 000 but now only boasts a small complement of less than of 5 000 workers, according to reports.

Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa said that the emergence of vending of cheap, low quality and smuggled imports were choking both producers and retailers. Some clothing industry players however said tha the ban on imports will only encourage smuggling and Government should instead, impose appropriate duties.

Zimbawe borders are very porous and banning importation of clothes will only encourage smuggling.

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