SHIELD FOR LO­CAL CON­TENT Pro­cure­ment pol­icy on cards to bol­ster im­port con­trols CZI looks to syn­er­gies with farm­ers

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Oliver Kazunga Busi­ness Re­porter

THE Gov­ern­ment is craft­ing a Na­tional Pro­cure­ment Pol­icy aimed at bol­ster­ing the coun­try’s in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion ef­forts to­wards pro­mot­ing eco­nomic growth, In­dus­try and Com­merce Min­is­ter Mike Bimha said yes­ter­day.

Of­fi­cially open­ing the Con­fed­er­a­tion of Zim­babwe In­dus­tries (CZI) an­nual congress in Bu­l­awayo, he said the pol­icy would also com­ple­ment the im­port man­age­ment pro­gramme.

“To com­ple­ment the im­port man­age­ment pro­gramme, Gov­ern­ment is cur­rently car­ry­ing out stake­holder con­sul­ta­tions with a view of com­ing up with a Na­tional Pro­cure­ment Pol­icy. The pol­icy will be ex­pected to but­tress other in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion ini­tia­tives through meet­ing the lo­cal con­tent thresh­old,” said Min­is­ter Bimha.

“The lo­cal pro­cure­ment pol­icy will go a long way in strength­en­ing value chains as the need to meet lo­cal con­tent re­quire­ments com­pels both Gov­ern­ment and the pri­vate sec­tor to pro­cure lo­cally.”

Of late, there have been calls to pro­mote con­sump­tion of lo­cally man­u­fac­tured prod­ucts as part of a raft of mea­sures aimed at re­viv­ing the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor which, among oth­ers, is grap­pling with stiff com­pe­ti­tion from im­ported prod­ucts. Ac­cord­ing to the Con­fed­er­a­tion of Zim­babwe In­dus­tries man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor sur­vey re­port for 2015, ca­pac­ity util­i­sa­tion stood at 34, 3 per­cent.

Due to the con­tin­ued in­flux of im­ported prod­ucts since the in­tro­duc­tion of a multi-cur­rency sys­tem in Fe­bru­ary 2009, Zim­babwe last year recorded a trade deficit of $2,88 bil­lion.

When Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe clar­i­fied the Gov­ern­ment pol­icy on in­di­geni­sa­tion and eco­nomic em­pow­er­ment, Min­is­ter Bimha said, the most im­por­tant as­pect of that clar­i­fi­ca­tion was that the Gov­ern­ment was not look­ing at a one-size-fit­sall model. “But,” he said, “par­tic­u­larly in the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor where in­vestors bring the money and tech­nol­ogy we’re look­ing at a va­ri­ety of pos­si­bil­i­ties in terms of what in­vestors can do.”

Min­is­ter Bimha said the Gov­ern­ment was im­ple­ment­ing var­i­ous sec­to­rial strate­gies to­gether with the pri­vate sec­tor.

Among the sec­to­rial strate­gies be­ing im­ple­mented are the cot­ton-cloth­ing, en­gi­neer­ing, iron and steel strate­gies as well as the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal devel­op­ment one.

“On iron and steel strat­egy, we’re look­ing at some­thing broader than only Zisco. We should look at an ex­panded iron and steel sec­tor be­cause we’ve the re­sources to ven­ture into those prod­ucts that Zisco didn’t pro­duce.

“So, we want to re­sus­ci­tate Zisco, but we also want other play­ers to pro­duce those prod­ucts that Zisco was un­able to pro­duce,” he said.

Min­is­ter Bimha added that the Gov­ern­ment also wants to see the growth of a stain­less steel in­dus­try as the coun­try has abun­dant re­sources such as nickel, chrome and iron.

He said it was un­for­tu­nate that Zisco should have been up and run­ning by now but the firm’s re­vival was hin­dered by po­lit­i­cal bick­er­ing in the in­clu­sive gov­ern­ment.

“How­ever, it’s not all lost. We are en­gag­ing a num­ber of as­pir­ing in­vestors in or­der to re­sus­ci­tate Zisco and also go into other ar­eas that l’ve men­tioned,” he said.

Ear­lier on Min­is­ter Bimha spoke against the mul­ti­plic­ity of busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tions.

“When we talk about in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion and Gov­ern­ment pol­icy, let’s look at busi­ness as one unit and get in­put from your­selves. But Gov­ern­ment can’t come and leg­is­late for that, but we think it should come from your­selves.

“You can stay as you’re but I‘m only say­ing we’re hav­ing prob­lems with hav­ing a mul­ti­plic­ity of rep­re­sen­ta­tion. As Gov­ern­ment we be­lieve in one­ness and with one voice we hear you bet­ter than when you’re frag­mented,” he said. CAP­TAINS of in­dus­try yes­ter­day pledged to in­crease their syn­er­gies with raw ma­te­rial pro­duc­ers par­tic­u­larly farm­ers as part of a drive to but­tress value ad­di­tion and broad­en­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in the econ­omy.

Con­fed­er­a­tion of Zim­babwe In­dus­tries (CZI) pres­i­dent and United Re­finer­ies chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Mr Bu­sisa Moyo told del­e­gates at­tend­ing the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s an­nual congress in Bu­l­awayo that in­dus­try re­vival was hinged on a ro­bust agri­cul­tural rev­o­lu­tion.

He said CZI would push this drive to as­sist the coun­try to re-in­dus­tri­alise and boost eco­nomic devel­op­ment.

“CZI con­tin­ues to pro­vide pri­vate sec­tor-thought lead­er­ship that will as­sist in re-in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion and set prece­dence for eco­nomic devel­op­ment. It has to be ac­cepted that few na­tions have reached their so­cial or eco­nomic as­pi­ra­tions with­out some form of in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion,” said Mr Moyo.

“Whether it’s Sin­ga­pore with its ship­yards, Ar­gentina with its beef in­dus­try ...this gives me hope that in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion isn’t a re­mote pos­si­bil­ity but it’s some­thing that we can achieve.”

This year’s CZI congress is run­ning un­der the theme, “Strength­en­ing value chains for sus­tain­able in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion and eco­nomic devel­op­ment”.

Mr Moyo said the theme was hinged on the need to recog­nise and strengthen value chains within the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor.

He said Zim­babwe’s in­dus­try was an­chored on the agri­cul­tural out­put and that is why CZI recog­nised the need to look at strength­en­ing value chains.

“Our in­dus­tries rest on the bedrock of agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion, with­out agri­cul­tural out­put there are no in­dus­tries to talk about. As CZI we’ve recog­nised the need to look be­yond the ma­chines that run in our fac­to­ries and look to the sources of the raw ma­te­ri­als that we process in our fac­to­ries,” he said.

Ear­lier this year, CZI iden­ti­fied 18 value chains and the in­dus­trial rep­re­sen­ta­tive body would con­tinue ex­pand­ing the list as a guide to re­search based on ex­ist­ing com­pa­nies.

He noted that a num­ber of such com­pa­nies were op­er­at­ing in low scale out­put or bro­ken value chains.

“The ma­jor­ity of value chains are steeped in some form of agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion base or an ex­trac­tive in­dus­try. In­fra­struc­ture be­comes nec­es­sary if there’s a pri­vate sec­tor to sup­port and the pres­sure to re­build the in­fra­struc­ture comes when there are value chains that are de­mand­ing in­fra­struc­ture,” he said.

Mr Moyo said fo­cus on value chains did not mean that CZI was ig­nor­ing the present chal­lenges fac­ing in­dus­try as such is­sues would be dis­cussed.

De­spite the sup­port in­dus­tries were get­ting from the Gov­ern­ment, he said CZI was not rest­ing on sup­port from the Gov­ern­ment.

Last month, the Gov­ern­ment pro­mul­gated Statu­tory In­stru­ment 64 of 2016, which re­moves sev­eral goods from the Open Gen­eral Im­port Li­cence to con­trol im­ports.

“We’re clear that such sup­port is time bound as in­dus­try con­trary to popular be­lief we’re not rest­ing on sup­port from the Min­istry of In­dus­try.

“We recog­nise that this is time bound and we must run fast to be com­pet­i­tive and not to be com­pet­i­tive lo­cally but to be com­pet­i­tive in terms of ex­ports,” he said.

Min­is­ter of In­dus­try and Com­merce Mike Bimha ad­dresses del­e­gates at the Con­fed­er­a­tion of Zim­babwe In­dus­tries congress in Bu­l­awayo yes­ter­day while CZI pres­i­dent Mr Bu­sisa Moyo, and in­set, del­e­gates fol­low pro­ceed­ings

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