Bulawayo (New Ziana) -Businesses should adopt and innovate in order to stay competitive in a world which is changing rapidly, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga said on Wednesday.
He said this while officiating at the International Business Conference which was held on the sidelines of the ongoing 63rd edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF).
The ZITF and the National Economic Consultative Forum (NEC) organised the conference, which is a platform for business and policy makers to exchange notes and share ideas.
The for the ZITF this year is “Transformative Innovation, Global Competitiveness”.
VP Chiwenga said the major role of the government was to create a conducive environment for economic development.
“We must be at the forefront of innovation and driving change if we are to succeed in achieving our national aspiration for an empowered and prosperous middle-income economy by 2030.
“We give this to you as captains of industry that you are the drivers as our policy is very clear that the economy of Zimbabwe will be private sector driven,” he said.
He said the prioritised provision of good quality infrastructure in the country was also meant to raise productivity levels in the economy and bring down the cost of doing business.
“I therefore urge the private sector to take a leading active role in growing the economy towards attainment of Vision 2030. So, let’s see you doing your job and we do our job,” he said.
Businesses should channel their efforts towards leveraging on latest technologies to meet the ever-changing demands of the global economy, he said.
He urged the business community to embrace the tenets of good corporate governance in their operations to complement government efforts of transforming the economy.
VP Chiwenga said while the global economic outlook points to a slowdown in economic activities this year, the Zimbabwean economy is projected to grow by at least 3,8 percent in 2023.
“It is pleasing to note that in 2022, about 47 percent of the Zimbabwe manufacturing firms upgraded their technologies in order to stay competitive. In 2022 again, about 39.8 percent of our country`s manufacturing sector companies invested a total of US$101 million to upgrade technologies and expand capacity,” he said.
He said these investments were aided by the availability of United States dollars in loans, banks as well as increased US dollars earnings by firms and availability of forex through the auction system.
“One of the major economic gains of the Second Republic is the recovery and growth of the manufacturing sector evidenced by general upwards trend in capacity utilization which stood at 63 percent in 2022,” he said.