Some industries no longer relevant: Minister
INDUSTRY and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha says although Zimbabwe urgently needs to see a revival of its industries, some of them are no longer relevant in the contemporary age.
In June this year, the Government gazetted Statutory Instrument (SI) 64 of 2016, which removed some goods that are locally available from Open General Import Licence exemption.
The overall objective is to support the local fragile industry from unfair competition, that way, facilitating employment creation and GDP growth.
But Minister Bimha has said some industries can no longer be saved.
“We’ve seen a deindustrialisation trend over time from the time of ESAP (Economic Structural Adjustment Programme) but now Zimbabwe needs to walk on a path of reindustrialisation.
“Reindustrialisation will also mean resuscitation of industries and coming on board of new companies,” said the Minister while addressing the Institute of Chartered Secretaries in Zimbabwe’s annual conference recently.
“You cannot resuscitate a company that is dead. Some of them need to remain dead, because they’re no longer appropriate. So we’ve to be selective and see which ones we resuscitate and which ones we say rest in peace.
“That’s an area which is not just for Government, but everyone needs to decide, which of those industries we want to see and which ones we should do nothing about,” he said.
According to the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI)’s last Manufacturing Sector Survey, the local productive sector was operating at just over 30 percent of installed capacity.
But some industries are performing better than others.
Presenting the Mid-term Fiscal Policy, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa said some industries were at least operating above average.
“The manufacturing sector is projected to grow by 0,2 percent on account of resilient activities in foodstuffs, drinks, tobacco and beverages, textiles and ginning, clothing and footwear, as well as non-metallic mineral products subsectors.
‘‘Capacity utilisation in the above subsectors, which are doing relatively better, is above 50 percent, despite the difficult economic environment,” he said.
“However, activity in the subsectors such as textiles and ginning, wood and furniture, metal and metal, fertiliser, chemicals, pharmaceuticals products and transport and equipment remain subdued, with capacity utilisation levels of around 30 percent.”
Meanwhile, the Government has confirmed that efforts to provide internal funding for the revival of local industry are progressing with discussions on finalising the second phase of the Distressed and Marginalised Areas Fund (Dimaf) and the Zimbabwe Economic and Trade Revival Facility (ZETREF) currently ongoing. — BH24
Women follow proceedings during the Women’s Development Dialogue breakfast meeting at a Bulawayo hotel yesterday
Minister Mike Bimha