Mega Market Eyes SEZ status

MUTARE– A local food Distribution Company, buoyed by positive performance of its local US$25 million maize and wheat milling projects, says it is now eyeing a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status.

Fast-moving consumer goods distribution company (FMCG) Mega Market Pvt (LTD) packages and distributes numerous lines of consumer products says it has applied for the SEZ status to improve economies scale.

The company says despite current constricted output from its maize milling division, operating at 30 percent capacity utilization owing to a shortage of grain, is also constructing a wheat milling plant.

Mega Market managing director Shiraan Ahmad said the firm aims to leverage on the SEZ status to increase production and boost their competitiveness to generate foreign currency and compete regionally.

Shiraan was speaking on the side lines of a recent tour of the company premises by Manicaland Provincial Affairs Minister Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba, said this will reduce production costs to boost their competiveness against regional products.

He said FMCG has failed to secure export permits due to nature of the consumer goods the company markets, with stringent requirements to satisfy local demand first, before export.

“We continue to engage Government to find a common solution but SEZ status will really help us because it will open export markets up for us.

“Export permits will be much easier to get and importation of critical equipment and duty free raw material will also really help in giving us an added advantage.

“If you look at the region, most products are imported from South Africa, which has large economies of scale, so obviously their unit cost of production is much lower than ours. SEZ status will allow us to compete with South Africa by bringing our cost of production down,” said Shiraan.

Mega Market has grown in leaps and bounds since 2000 to become of one of the leading distributor, wholesaler of basic commodities, frozen foods and fast moving consumables in Zimbabwe.

Revered for reviving the deflated manufacturing industry in Mutare, Mega Market partnered cooking oil and soap producing concern, Willowton Zimbabwe in 2017, for a retail investment reportedly worth US$35 million.

In 2018 Mega Market also acquired a 10 percent stake in Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) listed corporate, Dairibord Holdings Limited, which majors in manufacturing, processing, marketing, and distribution of milk products, foods and beverages.

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