Govt working on key economic enablers

04 Dec, 2022 - 00:12 0 Views
Govt working on key economic enablers

The Sunday Mail

Senior Business Reporter

THE Government is working towards improving the performance of key economic enablers to enhance efficiency and productivity in the manufacturing sector, Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza has said.

Zimbabwe’s industrial base has not been spared the negative impact of economic challenges the country has faced for close to two decades, resulting in depressed production and capacity utilisation.

After the Second Republic came into power in November 2017, led by President Mnangagwa, the economy has been on the mend following the rollout of a host of policy interventions to rebuild it.

Major infrastructure projects are being undertaken across the country

Officially opening the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) 2022 annual conference in Harare recently, Dr Nzenza said the Government was aware of the challenges facing industry in efforts to improve competitiveness.

“As we celebrate the progress in the manufacturing sector, celebrate increased capacity utilisation, increased exports, increased investments, we remain alive to the challenges faced by industry.

“Government is working on the improvement of key enablers to enhance local production efficiency and productivity,” she said.

Dr Nzenza noted that some of the challenges related to issues around the local currency, adding that through interrogation and regular dialogue, solutions to some of these constraints being experienced could be found.

Last year, capacity utilisation in the manufacturing sector increased to 56,25 percent from 47 percent in 2020.

Cognisant of the prevailing macro-economic environment, the manufacturing sector is projected to register a 3,7 percent growth rate in 2023 on the back of value addition and beneficiation activities in the mining and agriculture sectors.

As Zimbabwe implements the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS 1) and strives to achieve the goals of Vision 2030, Dr Nzenza said the Government had put in place various measures to stabilise the economy and create a conducive business environment.

The measures include the recent introduction of gold coins as a store of value, minimising the impact of international fuel price increases, commitment to clear the foreign currency auction system backlog, and the removal of duty on importation of capital equipment.

“Government will continue to facilitate the ease of doing business through the provision of a conducive environment for business to flourish,” said Dr Nzenza.

In line with the ease of doing business, she added, major infrastructure is being developed across the country, creating many new jobs as well as expanding business for local contractors and suppliers.

President Mnangagwa recently launched the US$300 million Beitbridge Border Modernisation Project, which will benefit not only CZI members, but also small and medium enterprises that use the port of entry to export and import various products.

Dr Nzenza said industrial transformation through the implementation of NDS1 implies that Zimbabwe should regain its production hub status and become the most efficient and competitive place of production in the region and on the continent at large.

“The keynote in my remarks today is focused on building a resilient and sustainable manufacturing sector.

“Not only does this allow us to collectively safeguard the progress which has been registered so far, but it also positions the local manufacturers to participate competitively in the global value chains.”

She said it was also imperative to improve the quality of locally manufactured products to increase the attractiveness of the country for investments.

“In view of the African Continental Free Trade Area and other market access opportunities in the Sadc and Comesa regions, the Second Republic has taken a policy stance to increase capacity across the local industries and to enhance competitiveness in the export markets,” she said.

As at the end of June this year, Zimbabwe’s export proceeds increased to US$3,5 billion from US$2,3 billion in 2021.

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