The first draft of the local policy content which will stipulate percentage thresholds for goods that will qualify as locally produced to support domestic production is expected to be complete by the first week of December.

Government and industry are in agreement that the formulation of a local content policy represents an opportunity to grow the local industry and help reduce the country’s huge import bill which stood above US$5 billion last year.

In June last year, government started a journey to protect the local industry through the crafting of statutory instrument 64 with impressive success, however industry still felt there was need for a more comprehensive policy to address the shortfalls presented by this regulation instrument.

At the 5th Buy Zimbabwe Retailers and Suppliers Conference held in the capital, Industry and Commerce Minister, Dr Mike Bimha reaffirmed government’s commitment to protect the local industry and enable the Buy Zimbabwe concept.

A budget for the successful formulation of the policy is already out with actual work on the policy expected to kick off mid November and the final draft earmarked for the 5th of December 2017 according to Buy Zimbabwe chairperson, Dr Anxious Masuka.

The successful implementation of a local content policy means Zimbabwe will witness increased participation of local companies in the supply chain of the sector, enhanced employment opportunities for the local labour force, and help reduce the pressure on foreign currency demand for imports among other benefits.