Buy local summit kicks off in Bulawayo

 Buy local summit kicks off in Bulawayo
Published: 04 July 2019
THE 9th Annual Buy Local Summit kicks off in Bulawayo this morning with President Mnangagwa expected to deliver the keynote address.

The two-day event is being held at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre under the theme "Enhancing local production, preference and market access".

Buy Zimbabwe, the country's national buy local campaign unit, hosts the summit aimed at bringing together key business leaders, decision makers and Government officials to discuss critical issues relating to the competitiveness and economic growth of Zimbabwe.

Ministers, Mangaliso Ndlovu (Industry and Commerce), Judith Ncube (Bulawayo Provincial Affairs, Reserve Bank Governor Dr John Mangudya and representatives from key economic bodies and company executives, are expected to grace the occasion.

According to the programme shown to Business Chronicle, official proceedings start at 8.30AM with the singing of the national anthem followed by welcome remarks by Minister Ncube.

President Mnangagwa is set to open the indaba at around 9AM focusing on policy direction for the economy and wealth creation towards attainment of a middle income status by 2030.

This will be followed by in-depth plenary discussions led by key economists.  Discussion topics will tackle the aspect of building strong value chains for local and global markets, harnessing opportunities for locals through import substitution, addressing current account deficit through export promotion and protecting local industry versus consumer access.

Dr Mangudya will make a presentation on financing gaps and opportunities for local businesses. The event will also honour top local brands. For the last 11 years, Zimbabwe has faced incessant trade deficits, which have accumulated to billions of dollars. The country's external sector position has largely remained under considerable pressure, due to excessive foreign currency demand even against increasing foreign currency inflows.

This pressure is manifested through persistent and large trade and current account deficits that the economy has been recording since dollarisation even though exports of goods and services have been on an upward trend.

Buy Zimbabwe has said its interventions seek to create and sustain an ecosystem for the promotion and facilitation of opportunities for the preference of quality Zimbabwean products and services while adding value to all stakeholders and rapid employment creation.

"We individually and collectively face the huge task of rebuilding the economy, increasing production and productivity, reducing the import bill and prioritising investment, as key ingredients for powering the economy to attain upper-middle income economy by 2030," said Buy Zimbabwe.  

"There is need for all stakeholders, including Government, industry, consumers, employees and the micro-small and -medium enterprises, to make deliberate efforts to support the buy local initiative to reduce imports and localise investment to create employment and improve

- chronicle
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