By Alois Vinga
THE critical foreign currency shortages obtaining in the economy have pushed companies to increase export sales and push up foreign currency earnings going forward in a move aimed at achieving self-sustenance and real growth.
An assessment carried out by NewZimbabwe.com Business shows that various businesses have tabled strategic plans to rake in foreign currency revenue.
Speaking at a recent Annual General Meeting in Harare, Rainbow Tourism Group chief executive, Tendai Madziwanyika said that foreign currency revenue for the period beginning January to May 2019 increased by 24% when compared to the same period last year. He pledged to target more revenue by year end.
“The company is leveraging its foreign currency earnings to drive down costs through the importation of service stocks and product refurbishment materials.
“Negotiations with suppliers on US4 pricing have yielded positive results that have yielded positive results and further reduced costs,” he said.
Dairibord chief executive, Anthony Mandiwanza also told the company’s shareholders at a recent AGM that the company is implementing robust strategies which have seen foreign currency revenue surging to US$2.1 million in the first half of 2019, registering an increase from US$0.6 million realised in the comparative period last year due to increased exports.
Asbestos manufacturer, Turnall Holdings boss, Rose Chisveto also expressed similar sentiments after unveiling plans to target markets which have potential to rake in foreign currency.
“The strategy is just for us to make sure that we manufacture products that speak to our export markets because at the moment there are foreign currency shortages in the country.
“So we would want to make sure that we are in a comfortable position to be able to generate our own foreign currency,” she said.
Zimplow chief executive Vimbayi Nyakudya also told guests attending an AGM that one of its units, Mealie Brand registered significant exports increases.
“The export sales implement volumes grew by 232%, countering the drop of 36% in the local market. The trust to drive export sales in light of the dip in local sales performance has been a game changer in the current year,” Nyakudya said.
Analysing the current trends, economist John Robertson said that the companies are moving in the right direction.
“The implications are that the country will earn more foreign currency and prices on the local market will be pushed down and more jobs will be created. However there is need to gather tangible evidence on the benefits of such initiatives,” he said.
However, economist Prosper Chitambara warned that excessive exports may end up starving the local markets of the necessary basic commodities which in turn may increase the rate of inflation.