Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Africa Moyo

PRES­I­DENT Mnan­gagwa yes­ter­day said the coun­try will soon un­veil crit­i­cal pieces of leg­is­la­tion in­clud­ing the new In­dus­trial Devel­op­ment Pol­icy, as the drive to­wards an ex­port-led in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion agenda gath­ers mo­men­tum.

The Pres­i­dent said this while of­fi­cially open­ing the 2018 ZimTrade Ex­porters’ Con­fer­ence in Harare.

The con­fer­ence ran un­der “Ac­cel­er­at­ing ex­port growth for eco­nomic devel­op­ment”.

Said Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa: “The new In­dus­trial Devel­op­ment Pol­icy, Na­tional Trade Pol­icy and the Na­tional Ex­port Strat­egy that will drive Zimbabwe’s ex­port-led in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion agenda, will soon be un­veiled for im­ple­men­ta­tion.”

Zimbabwe wants to boost ex­ports and fight the widen­ing trade deficit, which rose by 34 per­cent to $1,26 bil­lion be­tween Fe­bru­ary to June 2018.

From Fe­bru­ary and June this year, the coun­try im­ported goods and ser­vices worth $2,87 bil­lion against ex­ports of $1,62 bil­lion, which has had the net ef­fect of ex­port­ing for­eign cur­rency.

The pen­chant for im­ports, largely for con­sump­tion, has re­sulted in the min­ers, man­u­fac­tur­ers and farm­ers strug­gling to ob­tain for­eign cur­rency to pur­chase spare parts, new the theme sus­tain­able ma­chin­ery, raw ma­te­ri­als and other key ser­vices, to ramp up pro­duc­tion.

Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa said he was aware of the for­eign cur­rency chal­lenges and in­di­cated that Gov­ern­ment is work­ing around the clock to ad­dress the is­sue.

“The Min­istry of Fi­nance and Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment and the Re­serve Bank of Zimbabwe are work­ing to en­sure that crit­i­cal im­ports are pri­ori­tised on for­eign cur­rency al­lo­ca­tion.

“I ap­peal to in­dus­try to sup­port the pro­duc­tion of raw ma­te­ri­als and in­dus­trial feed­stock which can be sourced lo­cally,” said Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa.

He called for ro­bust in­no­va­tion, new cut­ting edge tech­no­log­i­cal in­ven­tions and re­search and devel­op­ment ini­tia­tives across all sec­tors of the econ­omy to help re­duce pro­duc­tion costs and en­hance com­pet­i­tive­ness of lo­cally pro­duced goods.

Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa also said as the con­cept of de­vo­lu­tion and provin­cial economies be­come a re­al­ity, in­dus­tri­al­ists and in­vestors should take ad­van­tage of the im­mense po­ten­tial within the var­i­ous districts across the coun­try and have at least one ex­port prod­uct per dis­trict.

Zimbabwe has 10 prov­inces, which are bro­ken into 59 districts.

The Pres­i­dent also en­cour­aged in­dus­tri­al­ists to lever­age on the ge­o­graphic and com­mod­i­ty­based Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zone (SEZ) frame­work to pro­duce for ex­ports.

Mean­while, Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa said since the coun­try has achieved maize food self­suf­fi­ciency, it was time to de­lib­er­ately fo­cus on en­hanc­ing the pro­duc­tion of other crops such as wheat, soya beans and cot­ton so as to ex­pand ex­ports.

“Stake­hold­ers in the agri­cul­tural sec­tor must de­velop busi­ness mod­els which sup­port a bal­ance be­tween pro­duc­tion for both lo­cal and ex­port mar­kets.

“We need there­fore to com­ple­ment our agri­cul­ture pro­duc­tiv­ity with high-value ex­port prod­ucts such as hor­ti­cul­ture and live­stock pro­duce.

“My Gov­ern­ment through the rel­e­vant min­istries will en­sure a com­pre­hen­sive and co­or­di­nated ap­proach to stim­u­late and mod­ernise the en­tire value chains across all sec­tors,” said Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa.

He also said there was need to em­brace tech­no­log­i­cal in­no­va­tions for global best prac­tices in pro­duc­tion, pro­cess­ing, pack­ag­ing and mar­ket­ing to guar­an­tee high qual­ity syn­er­gies and com­pet­i­tive goods.

Gov­ern­ment says in­fra­struc­ture devel­op­ment in re­la­tion to ir­ri­ga­tion ex­pan­sion, en­ergy, ICTs, road, rail and air­ports must not be viewed in iso­la­tion but fun­da­men­tally as en­ablers to the coun­try’s pro­duc­tive ca­pac­ity and en­try into re­gional, con­ti­nen­tal mar­kets and value chains.

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