Zim-Ja­pan to run Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zones work­shops

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Oliver Kazunga

THE Gov­ern­ment in con­junc­tion with the Ja­panese em­bassy will this week con­duct work­shops on Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zones (SEZs) in Bu­l­awayo and Harare.

Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary in the Min­istry of Eco­nomic Plan­ning and In­vest­ment Pro­mo­tion Dr De­sire Sibanda last week said the work­shops are in prepa­ra­tion for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the SEZs con­cept in Zim­babwe.

SEZs are des­ig­nated ge­o­graph­i­cal re­gions which op­er­ate un­der spe­cial eco­nomic reg­u­la­tions that are dif­fer­ent from other ar­eas in the same coun­try.

The ini­tia­tive is meant to of­fer spe­cial con­di­tions and in­cen­tives to fos­ter in­ter­na­tional com­pet­i­tive­ness.

“Par­lia­ment has ap­proved im­ple­men­ta­tion of the SEZs. Now in prepa­ra­tion for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the SEZ, the Min­istry of Eco­nomic Plan­ning and In­vest­ment Pro­mo­tion in con­junc­tion with the Ja­pan through their em­bassy will run work­shops on SEZ.

“On Tuesday we’ll be run­ning a work­shop in Bu­l­awayo as part of prepa­ra­tions for the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the SEZ. On Thurs­day a sim­i­lar work­shop will also be held in Harare,” he said.

Dr Sibanda said the work­shops would be at­tended by cap­tains of in­dus­try as well as the Min­is­ters of State for pro­vin­cial af­fairs for Harare and Bu­l­awayo.

“Pro­fes­sor Mo­toyoshi Suzuki from Ja­pan who is an ex­pert in SEZs is ex­pected to give lec­tures as well as share ex­pe­ri­ences on the ini­tia­tive at both work­shops,” said Dr Sibanda.

Af­ter the work­shops, there will be a fol­low up tour of China by a high-pow­ered del­e­ga­tion com­pris­ing the busi­ness lead­ers from the pri­vate sec­tor and the Min­is­ters of State for pro­vin­cial af­fairs for Harare and Bu­l­awayo.

“The two work­shops in Bu­l­awayo and Harare will also as­sist the Zim­babwe del­e­ga­tion which will soon be tour­ing China to ex­plore re­la­tions with in­vestors from that coun­try and in­vite them to in­vest here in SEZs in or­der to re­sus­ci­tate in­dus­tries,” he said.

Dr Sibanda added: “As Gov­ern­ment we want the pri­vate sec­tor to un­der­stand that the SEZs Act will pro­vide spe­cial in­cen­tives for com­pa­nies that man­u­fac­ture and ex­port in the SEZ des­ig­nated ar­eas and prod­ucts.”

Busi­ness lead­ers from the Zim­babwe Na­tional Cham­ber of Com­merce and the Con­fed­er­a­tion of Zim­babwe In­dus­tries are on record say­ing the coun­try is los­ing strate­gic in­vest­ment due to de­lays in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of SEZs with po­ten­tial in­vestors forced to look else­where.

The SEZs con­cept has been im­ple­mented in Africa in coun­tries that in­clude Nige­ria, Tan­za­nia, Zam­bia as well as Ethiopia and the re­sults have been pos­i­tive .

Out­side Africa, the SEZs ini­tia­tive has been em­braced by coun­tries such as China, Ja­pan and In­dia. — @okazunga

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