A newly constructed multi-million dollar tile making plant has started production near Norton in Mashonaland West Province.

Zimbabwe becomes home to the biggest tile manufacturing plant in Southern Africa as Sunny Yi Feng starts production in Norton.

The country has one of the highest per capita foreign currency earned in Africa meaning that it generates more foreign currency than its peers, Kenya included.

These statistics remain meaningless because Zimbabweans import items which otherwise could be made locally, including floor tiles.

A visit to the site by ZBC News showed a plant equipped with modern computerised systems producing at least 35 000 square meters of tiles per day.

According to the company’s Managing Director Mr William Gung, they are not importing anything as they get all production materials within a 100 kilometre radius.

“We are a self-sufficient company that gets its materials from within the vicinity. 25 percent of our production will go towards local consumption whilst the rest will be for export. Our staff compliment consists of local people but there is a skills transfer ongoing to ensure continuity,” he said.

The US$120 million Chinese-owned plant is a perfect example of government’s successful drive to lure foreign direct investment.

It is expected that similar investments will be realised in sectors such as agro-processing and manufacturing in order not only to reign in the trade deficit but to create the much needed jobs.