Trade & industry minister Ebrahim Patel. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA
Trade & industry minister Ebrahim Patel. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA

Peter Bruce’s most recent column refers (“At last, some localised competition for Patel’s policies”, November 17). The brutal reality is a small country with a limited market can never have the economies of scale required to cost effectively produce the wide range of products manufactured internationally and available at every level in every sector.

As “substitute” products (those not made in SA that are deemed to compete with locally manufactured products) carry hearty import tariffs, the result is likely to be either a significant increase in prices for such products or a significant reduction in choice as we move to a Soviet Russia-like limited-choice-of-products environment, to allow local manufacturers reasonably large production runs.        

But then maybe for Patel, a Soviet era-style economy is the aim.

Nick Steen, Via BusinessLIVE

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