Zimbabwe’s industry has been hit hard by the sharp appreciation of the United States dollar resulting in locally produced goods and services becoming expensive in the regional and global markets.

Findings by the 2017 National Competitiveness Report unveiled in the capital on Thursday indicate the US dollar which dominates the country’s multiple currency system has, however, hindered competitiveness of local industries.

The strong US dollar has resulted in local goods and services being expensive, contributed to high production costs, unaffordable utility bills, limited access to loans and liquidity constraints.

IMR senior advisor Dr Gift Mugano says the trend has constrained the industry’s ability to increase exports.

The Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet and National Economic Consultative Forum (NECF) co-chair Dr Misheck Sibanda says Zimbabwe should focus on improving the quality of products.

The Minister of Industry and Commerce Dr Mike Bimha says government and the private sector should focus on solving competitiveness challenges.

Other findings of the report include an improvement in the ease of doing business reforms, reduction in budget deficits, recovery in exports although unstable pricing policies, high taxes and subdued disposable incomes are still a challenge to the economy.