CZI con­ducts man­u­fac­tur­ing sur­vey

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business - Busi­ness Re­porter

THE Con­fed­er­a­tion of Zim­babwe In­dus­tries (CZI) has en­gaged re­searchers to con­duct this year’s man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor sur­vey, which is ex­pected to take a sec­toral ap­proach on value chains.

Early this year, CZI iden­ti­fied 18 value chains that need to be pri­ori­tised to re­vive the econ­omy.

The iden­ti­fied value chains among others in­clude cot­ton-to-cloth­ing, beef-to-leather, juice-to-can or hor­ti­cul­tural farm-to-juice value chain and fish-to­fork.

CZI chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Mr Clif­ford Si­leya said the re­sults of the sur­vey would be re­leased in Oc­to­ber ahead of the 2017 na­tional bud­get pre­sen­ta­tion by the Gov­ern­ment.

“We are presently re­cruit­ing re­searchers (univer­sity stu­dents) for the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor, which will start in earnest given that we’re now beyond our an­nual congress for this year.

“This year’s sur­vey will take a sec­toral ap­proach based on the value chains that we’ve iden­ti­fied,” he said, adding that the fo­cus is on value chains in line with this year’s congress theme, which fo­cused on ‘Strength­en­ing value chains for sus­tain­able in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion and eco­nomic devel­op­ment”. The CZI congress ended in Bu­l­awayo last Fri­day. Mr Si­leya said re­sults of the sur­vey would be re­leased in Oc­to­ber so that Fi­nance and Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Pa­trick Chi­na­masa can cap­ture in­dus­try’s con­cerns into the 2017 fis­cal pol­icy state­ment.

“Since the be­gin­ning of the year, in­dus­try has been se­ri­ously chal­lenged in terms of boost­ing op­er­a­tional ca­pac­ity.

‘‘In­vest­ment in in­dus­try is still very dry and this year it has been ex­ac­er­bated by the cash cri­sis,” he said.

While ca­pac­ity util­i­sa­tion in the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor stood at 34,3 per­cent in 2015, Mr Si­leya said some firms have this year man­aged to im­prove their ca­pac­ity to com­pet­i­tive lev­els. “De­spite low ca­pac­ity util­i­sa­tion lev­els in the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor, some com­pa­nies are do­ing very well in re­la­tion to stim­u­lat­ing pro­duc­tiv­ity. For ex­am­ple, we’ve com­pa­nies in sec­tors such as food and bev­er­ages, ed­i­ble oils and the dairy in­dus­try. “Im­prove­ment in ca­pac­ity util­i­sa­tion lev­els can be at­trib­uted to im­proved power sup­ply in the past six months as well as co-op­er­a­tion be­tween in­dus­try and the Gov­ern­ment for in­stance on the Statu­tory In­stru­ment 64 of 2016,” said Mr Si­leya. The man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor among other op­er­a­tional chal­lenges is grap­pling with lack of work­ing cap­i­tal to in­vest in new ma­chin­ery as well as high cost of bor­row­ing and weak de­mand as­so­ci­ated with the pre­vail­ing liq­uid­ity con­straints.

Min­is­ter Pa­trick Chi­na­masa

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