We don’t care about cheap imports: Chihota

Pindai Dube



A CABINET minister has rejected industry concerns over cheap Chinese imports, saying government would do nothing to stop the imports despite threats to local

industries.


“Even if an individual or company goes to China to purchase shoes which last for one day, we don’t care because that’s not government’s business,” Chihota told delegates at a pre-budget consultative meeting in Bulawayo last week.


He said locals were fuelling trade in cheap Chinese imports and government did not care “even if these individuals and private companies dump the cheap goods because it’s not our fault”.


“Individual business people and some private companies have demonstrated their interest in importing cheap Chinese goods. The government has not at any time supported or generated foreign currency for the importation of cheap goods from China that have flooded the country,” said Chihota.


Chihota blamed private companies and businesspeople for the flood of the cheap quality Chinese goods threatening local industries, particularly the textile sector.


The cabinet minister’s remarks surpised legislators and captains of industry at a 2007 pre-budget seminar which reviewed government policy on the importation of Chinese goods.


Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce vice-president Obert Sibanda said government had an obligation to protect the local industry.