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Zimbabwe Prohibits Importation of Basic Commodities to Protect Local Industry

June 20, 2016 at 17:29 by Andrew Moran

In order to protect local industries and reduce its bloated import bill, the government of Zimbabwe has issued a ban on the importation of a wide variety of basic commodities. As part of the new government mandate, everything from sugar to steel, bottled water to cooking oil will be banned from entering the country.

The Zimbabwe Statistical Agency (Zimstat) released economic data last week, highlighting that the nation imported more than $2 billion worth of goods in the first five months of 2016. Meanwhile, it exported just $948 million, mostly beef, tobacco, and scrap metal, in the same time period.

From January to May, Zimbabwe has Spongebob Bounce House accumulated a budget deficit of $1.122 billion.

According to Industry Deputy Minister Mike Bimha, the ban on the importation of basic commodities will stimulate the local economy since businesses, consumers, and governments have to rely on products and services developed in Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare, and elsewhere in Zimbabwe.

Under the ban, a lot of basic commodities would be prohibited from being imported. Some of the items on the list include peanut butter, coffee creamers, flavored milk, juice blends, and soap. Other necessary products for construction products will also face an import ban, including parts of iron or steel structures, roofing frameworks, and types of rubber.

Woven fabrics of cotton weighing no more than 200 grams will also fall under the import ban.

Economists are warning local merchants not to charge excessive prices to consumers. Since Zimbabwe’s economy collapsed, businesses have developed a notorious reputation for inflating their prices.

What has been the reaction to the government’s plan so far? According to an editorial published in The Chronicle, import restrictions are very much needed in Zimbabwe because it imports nearly everything it consumes.

As the economy continues to recover, there is a need for the government, in consultation with industry, to take stock and see areas to institute controls through various instruments available to it so that the recovery is consolidated.

With the commodities market worth an exorbitant amount, it is unlikely that Zimbabwe’s import bans would have any major impact commodity prices. Since it imports just $2 billion worth of basic commodities, which is down about 9% from last year, it would also have very little impact to the nations that it imports from, including the US, China, Germany, and the UK.

If you have any questions and comments on the commodities today, use the form below to reply.

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