Unilever Zimbabwe set for a rebound

A monitor displays Unilever NV signage on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., on Friday, Feb. 17, 2017. Despite Russia and Michael Flynn, the tweets and CNN, the stock market has sailed from one high to the next under President Donald Trump. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

The key outcomes of foreign direct investment (FDI) are already manifesting after multinational company Unilever made a capital investment of close to half a million dollars towards transforming its Unilever Zimbabwe factory capacity on its savoury product line amid future plans for further expansion to increase production on its other home care products.

The investment package by Unilever Zimbabwe a subsidiary of Unilever East Africa is a huge statement of intent that highlights the firm’s confidence in the Zimbabwean market.

The new plant has the capacity to process 30 tonnes of their largest savoury product unit which is double the production capacity from their previous operations.

It’s an investment that will also have huge cuts on their import bill as it was relying on imports from Kenya and there are also plans to further reduce the expenditure when it expands its manufacturing capacity to other product lines.

A move widely viewed as a response to the new thrust of open business, the firm is buoyant that through this investment there is a high likelihood to record their highest turnover.

This transformation process by the firm will position Zimbabwe as the largest processor for the savoury product unit and thus present opportunities to become an export hub for the product line within the region.

This will cushion them from the challenges of foreign currency that have resulted in the shutdown of its dish washing processing plant subsequently leading to the shortage of the product on the market.

This is a factor which the central bank admits has presented problems for firms which can be addressed though expanding export capacity.

Nevertheless, the commitment by the firm to rebuild its operations and focus on producing part of their products locally bears testimony of their confidence in the economic resurgence of the country.

Key transformational processes to relax the investment climate in the country are expected to further attract foreign direct investment with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe stating that it is working on a policy that will protect and guarantee the smooth flow of investor funds. – ZBC



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