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Zimbabwe indigenous law hits Nestlé

Swiss food giant Nestlé is one of 12 multinational companies being forced to sell 51 per cent of its Zimbabwean operations to local citizens.

A law enacted in March 2010 requires any foreign company with assets valued at over $500,000 (SFr453,000) to sell 51 per cent to indigenous Zimbabweans.

Nestlé, along with Barclays Bank and British American Tobacco amongst others, has until the end of September to comply with the law or risk facing losing its license to operate in the country.

“Nestlé Zimbabwe proposed a plan relating to indigenisation in November 2010,” a Nestlé spokeswoman said. “We have also responded to a letter received from the Indigenisation Minister on August 18, 2011, and have been in contact with the authorities since then.”

Nestlé has been present in Zimbabwe for 50 years. The company employs some 200 people in its factory in the capital Harare, which produces cereals and powdered milk for the local market.

In 2009, the factory was forced to close temporarily following pressure from government authorities to purchase milk from certain suppliers which were not under contract by the company.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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