HomeBusiness DigestProudly Zimbabwean' agency set for launch

Proudly Zimbabwean’ agency set for launch

Godfrey Marawanyika

THE Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is setting up a fully-fledged “Proudly Zimbabwean” foundation that will formulate standards for locally-manufactured products.

face=”Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>The foundation will also vet, accredit and establish standards, according to bankers who said the foundation was expected to be fully operational by year-end.

“The foundation will not be used by anybody. The Reserve Bank has started drafting a document on the programme,” a senior banker said this week.

“The foundation will set strict criteria of how companies that wish to adopt the ‘Proudly Zimbabwean’ logo will apply to meet certain laid-down procedures.”

The “Proudly Zimbabwean” concept is in line with the labelling of goods which meet set guidelines in South Africa and is meant to promote locally made products.

Industrialists said although the idea was noble, its implementation would take time as firms were worried about their bottomline earnings.

There are concerns in industry that their products would be shunned owing to “xenophobic feelings” about Zimbabwean products and the negative publicity the country has attracted over the years.

Earlier this year, the Standards Association of Zimbabwe invited bids for firms to monitor and control goods coming into the country.

Most of the sub-standard goods which have flooded the market originate from West Africa and China.

Over the years, government has been lobbying business to shift attention from traditional markets in the West and look East instead.

However, business leaders argue that they cannot focus on the East to the exclusion of other potential markets as the practice was contrary to the spirit of entrepreneurship.

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