The decision by government to remove some goods under the general import licence was a timely intervention which averted a situation which could have seen an increase in unemployment levels as well as low productivity within the economy.

Industrialists continue to salute the statutory instrument 64 (SI64) of 2016 for its positive impact to the economy.

The introduction of SI64 last year created debate within the economy while also coming under the spotlight by regional trading partners.

What most people did not know is that a lot of foreign exchange has been lost as the import bill went up to around US$7 billion with people importing products which can be produced locally.

The coming into being of SI64 of 2016 meant the creation of employment, increase in industrial capacity utilisation, increasing revenue and the limited use of foreign exchange.

Relying more on imports had negative impact to the economy which created a dependency syndrome as the manufacturing base had diminished while capacity utilisation was very low.

Some had termed it a supermarket economy which assisted in the industrialisation of neighbouring economies at the expense of the local economy putting the citizens at risk.

The SI64 of 2016 came at the right time and changed the fortunes of the country’s economy as thousands of jobs have been created while also pushing towards industrialisation.