Industry impresses Government

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Bulawayo, April 27, 2022 (New Ziana) –THE Government is impressed with
the strides that local industry has made to re-tool despite the negative
impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Vice President General (Rtd) Constantino Chiwenga said on Wednesday a
modern and industrialised manufacturing sector is crucial for attaining
an upper middle-income economy by 2030,

He said this while officially opening the International Business
Conference being held on the sidelines of the Zimbabwe International
Trade Fair (ZITF).

VP Chiwenga said the current re-tooling efforts would improve the
competitiveness of Zimbabwean products both on local and foreign
markets.

“Let me take this opportunity to applaud the private sector for the
great work they are doing to help revive our industry after years of
industrial stagnation,” he said.

“I wish to underscore that the achievement of vision 2030 hinges on
successful re-industrialisation driven by re-tooling and innovation to
promote competitiveness of our products in both regional and
international markets.”

Although the Covid-19 pandemic presented several operational challenges,
local industry should also leverage on the opportunities it presented.

“It is important for business to view the Covid-19 pandemic from a
positive standpoint as it provides an opportunity to innovate, re-think
and re-invent business strategies in this challenging and dynamic
environment.

“For this reason, we are calling on our private sector to join hands
with Government on the development and domestication of value chains as
espoused in the National Development Strategy 1. The priority is on
moving the economy up on the value chain and structural transformation
underpinned by strengthening already existing and development of new
value chains.”

On its part, VP Chiwenga said, the Government would continue fostering
an enabling business environment through availing pro-business policies
and sector specific tax incentives.

The Government was also focusing on increasing local value addition in
the agriculture and mining sectors, among others.

“Government is fully committed to the continued implementation of
business friendly policies as well as the ease of doing business reforms
to ensure that business is able to thrive in Zimbabwe. Boosting domestic
and foreign investment in the country is one of the Second Republic’s
top priorities,” he said.

VP Chiwenga encouraged the local mining sector to take advantage of the
current commodity price boom to increase mineral output and exports.
“As a country we should not miss this opportunity but take full
advantage of the rising prices of minerals commodities to increase our
export value,” he said.

Speaking at the same event, Industry and Commerce Minister, Dr Sekai
Nzenza, said collaboration between Government and the private sector
would help drive the industrialisation agenda.

“The Increase in capacity utilisation that was witnessed in the last 18
months despite Covid-19 – what we are seeing is increased production of
locally made goods on our supermarket shelves.

“We have now moved from a very low level of when we were around 30
percent capacity utilisation before Covid-19 and today we can celebrate
that we are above 61 percent in capacity utilisation,” she said.

Also speaking at the same event, ZITF chairman and renowned
industrialist, Busisa Moyo, said the local industry was recording growth
despite global supply chain disruptions caused by Covid-19, rising
global prices due to the Russia Ukraine conflict and extreme effects of
climate change.

These challenges were affecting traditional source markets for raw
materials and commodities.

“Locally, we have green shoots and red flags. The green shoots are that
our shelves, 75 to 85 percent are stocked with locally manufactured
products. The green shoots are that there is construction of roads and
other infrastructure that is going on. The green shoots are that last
year we recorded almost $10 billion in foreign currency inflows,” he
said.

New Ziana

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