Zim-Japan to run Special Economic Zones workshops
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