Business

Zim-China business seminar next week

ZIM-CHINA BUSINESS SEMINAR NEXT WEEK
Harare April 18, 2012 (New Ziana) – Zimbabwe will next week host the Zim-China business seminar aimed at fostering stronger ties between Chinese businesses and their local counterparts.
In a statement, the Ministry of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion said the seminar would be held during the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) to be held in Bulawayo next week.
“A high powered Chinese business delegation made up of approximately 170 businesspeople will be visiting Zimbabwe on the 26th of April 2012. The delegation will be part of the participants at the ZITF 2012,” read part of the statement.
The Ministry said the delegation was seeking to identify viable investment projects to implement Zimbabwe as well as establish strategic partnerships with their local counterparts.
Over the years China, one of the fastest growing economies in the world, has become Zimbabwe’s biggest trading partner following adoption of the Look East policy.
The China Development Bank has said it could invest up to US$ 10 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Zimbabwe’s mining and agricultural sectors.
The FDI would enable the country to meet the targets spelt out in the Medium Term Plan (2011-2015).
New Ziana

Construction sector likely to miss growth target

CONSTRUCTION SECTOR TO MISS GROWTH TARGET
Harare April 17, 2012 (New Ziana) –The growth forecast of 50 percent by year end for the construction industry will be difficult to attain due to the liquidity crunch facing the country, an official said on Tuesday.
The industry, which is currently at 32 percent activity, registered 1 percent growth in 2011 with stakeholders expressing optimism that the situation would be better in 2012 when the funding situation was expected to improve.
Construction Industries Federation of Zimbabwe president Philip Chiyangwa said the government should bring sanity into the financial sector for the construction industry to grow.
“Construction is suffering the effects of cash shortages facing the financial sector hence activity has slowed down," he said.
Chiyangwa said some construction companies had since halted operations, which was not a good signal for the future of the sector.
“When we made the forecast, the economy was on a growth path but the liquidity challenges have persisted making it impossible for the construction sector to realize full potential,” he said.
The Zimbabwe government has since ordered all banks to repatriate 75 percent of funds held in offshore accounts with effect from March 1 as part of measures to increase liquidity.
Foreign banks operating in Zimbabwe are believed to be sitting on over US$500 million of local depositors' money in their home countries.
New Ziana

Astra increases capacity utilisation

ASTRA PAINTS INCREASES CAPACITY UTILIZATION
Harare April 12, 2012 (New Ziana) -Protective coatings manufacturer Astra Paints on Thursday said capacity utilization at its Harare and Bulawayo factories has risen to 51 percent, up from 40 percent last year.
The company is a subsidiary of Astra Industries.
General manager Joshua Chinyuku said the company was upgrading its paint manufacturing factories to further increase capacity.
“We are currently upgrading our paint manufacturing factories to increase capacity,” he said.
Chinyuku said the Harare factory was operating efficiently producing assorted paint for the northern region and areas around the capital while the Bulawayo plant catered for areas surrounding that city.
He said the company was enjoying a favorable market share in the region with Botswana in particular accounting for 30 to 70 percent of exports.
Paint sales contribute at least 42 percent to group revenue.
Astra Paints commenced business in Harare as Herbert Evans Paint in 1947.
Through the years, the company merged with others like Titanium Paints to eventually become Plascon Paints, whose majority stake was then acquired by the government of Zimbabwe through the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe in 1983.
The paint concern was then renamed Astra Paints in line with the larger group Astra Industries.
New Ziana

Delta employee up for fraud

DELTA EMPLOYEE UP FOR FRAUD
Harare 10 April 2012 (New Ziana)-A 35-year old assistant accountant at Delta Beverages on Tuesday appeared in court for allegedly defrauding her employer of US$521 825.
Esmery Daveson of 5 Uxbridge Close Bluffhill was remanded to April 30 on US$500 bail when she appeared before regional magistrate Anita Tshuma.
Daveson was told to report three times a week at CID Frauds and to surrender her passports as part of her bail conditions.
The state led by David Magwegwe said Delta Beverages, a manufacturer of soft drinks and larger beers, operates separate bank accounts with Standard Chartered at Graniteside industrial area for soft drinks and at Southerton for lager beers.
Magwegwe said the company uses two payments methods for account holders and customers.
In the first method a customer brings cash to the cashier who issues them with a serialized manual receipt and forwards copies to the debtors’ clerk who updates the customer’s account at Delta Beverages through reducing the outstanding balance by the amount paid.
The second method involves customers transferring funds into a Delta Beverages account and submitting copies of the deposit to the debtor’s clerk.
After confirming the payment by checking on the bank statement the debtor’s clerk issues a manual receipt to the customer and then updates their account reducing the balance outstanding.
There are however, instances where a customer makes a payment into the soft drinks account instead of the one for lager.
In such situations the debtors’ clerk at the soft drinks section will originate a credit note which is sent to the debtors’ clerk at the larger section to update the customers account.
The state is alleging that 28 occasions Daveson was charged with the duty of validating such payments by accessing the bank statements.
Acting in connivance with Kudakwashe Takafakare, Jane Machingura, Brenda Bobo, Joice Mugadza (still at large) and Cassian Zvinashe Maramba (on remand), Daveson received amounts in cash from customers of Delta for their outstanding balances on the debtors’ accounts.
It is alleged that Daveson would then use cash deposit slips which relate to some other genuine payments previously made by other customers to purport that the customers had made the payments into soft drinks section bank account instead of the larger section bank account.
In all instances Daveson would originate and send credit notes via e-mail to larger section debtors’ clerk misrepresenting that the larger customers had paid by bank transfer (RTGS) into the soft drinks account and instructing them to update the relevant customers account by reducing the outstanding balances.
Daveson would then record the fictitious transaction in the accounting system to reflect the inter-company transaction.
The offence came into light when an audit was carried out by the company’s Audit and Risk Department headed by Funwell Gwiza.
The auditors discovered that payments purported to have been made into the soft drinks bank account by larger customers and used to update the customers account at larger department did not relate to the transaction, prejudicing Delta Beverages of US$521 825 and nothing was recovered.
New Ziana

Officials urged to implement policies

TSVANGIRAI URGES OFFICIALS TO IMPLIMENT POLICIES
Harare March 29, 2012 (New Ziana)-Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said on Thursday policies that the government crafted can only transform the country when they are successfully implemented.
To date government has unveiled a number of policies aimed at transforming the country’s economy but some of them are gathering dust on shelves in some offices, an example being the Commodity Exchange which is yet to be operationalized more than a year after its launch.
Addressing delegates at the launch of the Industrial and National Trade Policies (2012 to 2016) Tsvangirai said the country should move away from the culture of producing documents which were not put into action.
“The success of these policies is hinged on the fact that the government continues to work implementing them if we are to succeed as a nation.
“Let’s move away from policy pronouncement to policy implementation to benefit Zimbabwe and its people,” he said.
The two policies are aimed restoring the contribution of the manufacturing sector to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from the current 15  to 30 percent and its contribution to exports from 26 to 50 percent by 2015 consistent with the Medium Term Plan (MTP).
An averaged real GDP growth of seven percent is targeted under the Policy Framework of 2012 to 2015.
A major feature of the Industrial Policy is the establishment of an Industrial Development Bank (IDB) within six months of the launch of the policy.
The National Trade Policy seeks to increase export earnings by at least 10 percent annually from US$4, 3 billion in 2011 to US$7 billion in 2016.
Tsvangirai said there was already willingness from foreign investors to do business in Africa which can assist Zimbabwe to meet the projected economic growth targets.
“There is interest in investing in Africa especially in Zimbabwe. I attended two investment conferences in South Africa and London, people are keen to invest in the country,” he said.
He said there was need to avail affordable financing packages to allow industry to retool as obsolete equipment installed in 1923 in most cases was no longer effective.
New Ziana

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