'Foreign, local investment can work together'

HARARE - Buy Zimbabwe chief executive Munyaradzi Hwengwere says there is no contradiction between his organisation’s mission and the government’s ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ mantra.

Hwengwere, who was speaking in Harare yesterday at the launch  meeting of the 8th Buy Local Summit to be held at Village Lodge in Gweru from June 14 to 15, however, emphasised the importance of clarifying how foreign and local investment should coexist.

“As Buy Zimbabwe we don’t see any contradiction (between Buy Zimbabwe’s mission and the Zimbabwe is open for business call) but we need to be clear about how foreign and local investment can work together,” said the Buy Zimbabwe chief executive.

Hwengwere said the forthcoming 8th Buy Local Summit will, among other objectives, explore how to ensure that foreign investment complements local initiatives.

“What are the things that need to be done when we attract that foreign investment so that we can domesticate that investment in order to reduce the demand on imports and promote exports?” asked the Buy Zimbabwe chief executive.

He urged Zimbabwe to borrow a leaf from the South African government’s public procurement policy whose main objective is to promote local goods and services.

“The key is competitiveness yes but competitiveness must not mean we do away with issues of local preference.

“As Buy Zimbabwe we recently attended the Proudly South African Summit and it was the same issue there. The South African government was saying ‘we are going to globalise but based on local businesses and we are going to focus on public procurement -75% and even 100% in some instances of South African goods and services…’ We can do it too without negating this issue of being open for business,” Hwengwere said.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa will be the guest of honour at the 8th Buy Local Summit that will also be attended by Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development Minister Mike Bimha and Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa.

The summit, to run under the theme – Building competitiveness and retaining domestic preference in an open economy- will also feature top Zimbabwean business leaders who include Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Sifelani Jabangwe, Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) chief executive officer Christopher Mugaga, United Refineries chief executive officer Busisa Moyo, Zimplats chief executive officer Alex Mhembere, Mimosa Mining Company managing director Fungai Makoni and Dairiboard marketing director Tracey Mutaviri.

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