Packaging industry in major rebound 

Source: Packaging industry in major rebound | The Herald

Packaging industry in major rebound
The packaging industry says it is ready to support the recovery of key sectors of the Zimbabwean economy following the negative impact Covid-19. (File Picture)

Oliver Kazunga Senior Business Reporter

THE packaging industry says it is on a major recovery from the negative impact of Covid-19 pandemic and will invest significantly in capacity upgrades to support expected economic growth.

Following the Covid-19 outbreak in 2019 countries around the world imposed national lockdowns and travel restrictions to curb the spread of the disease.

However, despite the far-reaching negative impact of the travel restrictions and national lockdowns, most of which have since been lifted, have seen economies including Zimbabwe emerging from the woods.

Speaking at the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) 2023 2023 Annual Economic and Business Outlook Symposium in Harare last Wednesday, the CZI’s representative the ZimTrade board Wellington Dangarembizi, who is also Hunyani Paper and Packaging managing director, said the packaging industry was critical to manufacturing, mining and agriculture sectors.

“As the packaging sector, we are a barometer of economic activity because we cover manufacturing, construction industries and mining to a certain extent.

“If I compare 2021 and 2022, there has been a general increased activity across all sectors last year, which is commendable in terms of key economic growth and activity.

“I am very confident that the packaging sector will continue to support manufacturing and agriculture sectors and the whole chain.

“It’s not all doom and gloom and from where I sit, we are actually seeing a lot of economic activity and movements and the good thing is across all sectors, there has been a lot of investments that have happened from both small players and big players.”

Following the coming into power of the Second Republic in November 2017 led by President Mnangagwa, the Government has declared the “Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra with a view of attracting investors from across the globe.

The Government is forging ahead with the creation of a favourable investment climate through transformative policies which are also aimed at boosting the country’s exports.

Last year, Zimbabwe’s exports totaled US$7,42 billion compared to US$6,37 billion in 2021.

It is hoped that by 2030 the period which the country envisages to have attained an upper middle-income economy, the figure would have spiked to US$14 billion as espoused by the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS 1).

Mr Dangarembizi said one of the key issues facing the packaging industry is that none of the raw materials used by the sector are produced locally.

“Everything is heavily dependent on foreign currency and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has been supportive to the sector to the extent that over the last two years due to Covid-19, the main issue was to deal with the availability of raw materials.

“I am happy to say that we have started softening from the global supply chains starting from last year, so will be capacitated enough in developing business in the packaging sector to meet the ever growing demand both locally and regionally,” he said.