MUTARE- Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) should continuously innovate
bearing in mind that value addition is key in promoting competition in the industry
and on the global market at large.
National Competitiveness Commission, (NCC) Director-Competitiveness,
Brighton Shayanewako, during a Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
Competitiveness Seminar in Mutare, highlighted that competitiveness of SMEs
contributes immensely to the province’s Gross Domestic Product which speaks to
the devolution agenda in turn complementing the country’s National Development
Strategy 1 objective of enhancing regional and global competitiveness.
“Globally the competitiveness concept has grabbed a lot of attention in terms of the
world economies in recent years. Policy makers in both advanced and developing
economies including Zimbabwe are expressing serious concern on the global
competitiveness of their economies. In line with the devolution thrust, provinces
are now expected to come up with strategies to enhance competitiveness of locally
produced products through value addition, beneficiation, improving quality by
adopting high standards in order to increase value,” he said.
Manicaland Secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Edgar Seenza said the
membership of the country in the African Continental Free Trade Area exacerbated
the need for local products to be competitive and penetrate the global market.
“As a country we must concentrate on our areas of competitive advantage and then
perfect those areas so that we have a niche market in the continent. For example,
Mutare is well known for timber production, commerce and food processing
among other things. As such we are now required not to produce ordinarily, but to
produce efficiently, with the expected quality and price for the intended markets.
This therefore calls for us as a nation to identify the needs of the market and be
solution providers to stay on top in terms of competitiveness,” he said.
Like a significant number of other African countries, Zimbabwe exports low value
raw and semi-finished commodities, which are then imported back into the country
as finished goods at a much higher price which is less beneficial to the local
However, local industry has lately been bent on increasing the sophistication of
products made in the country and these will have more value, driving the economy
up the value chain and creating higher value jobs in the process.
According to the World Bank SMEs play a major role in most economies,
particularly in developing countries. They account for most businesses worldwide
and are important contributors to job creation and global economic development.