Symposium to ad­dress eco­nomic chal­lenges:

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Business - Busi­ness Re­porter

ZIM­BABWE’S in­dus­try is plan­ning a “hard-hit­ting con­ver­sa­tion” with Govern­ment and other stake­hold­ers over the chal­leng­ing sit­u­a­tion pre­vail­ing in the coun­try.

The half-day symposium, sched­uled for later this month, will bring to­gether mem­bers of the rep­re­sen­ta­tive body, the Con­fed­er­a­tion of Zim­babwe In­dus­tries, a cross sec­tion of Govern­ment min­is­ters and other eco­nomic stake­hold­ers.

Run­ning un­der the theme: “In­terim & Long-Term Strate­gies To Ad­dress Zim­babwe’s Eco­nomic Chal­lenges”, the 2017 Eco­nomic Out­look symposium is ex­pected to in­ter­ro­gate crit­i­cal is­sues af­fect­ing the busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment.

CZI pres­i­dent Bu­sisa Moyo told jour­nal­ists yes­ter­day that the coun­try is in cri­sis and there are is­sues that need to ad­dressed and there­fore it can­not be busi­ness as usual.

“We would like to have a con­ver­sa­tion that is hard hit­ting,’ said Mr Moyo.

“The coun­try is in cri­sis and ob­vi­ously it can­not be busi­ness as usual. Not only is there a loss of rev­enue but if com­pa­nies close we could end up with a very dire sit­u­a­tion. So cer­tainly for us it is not a symposium as usual.

“Com­pa­nies, as we sit here to­day, can­not pay, are ap­ply­ing for short time and are lay­ing off work­ers, these are se­ri­ous is­sues. This is a se­ri­ous sit­u­a­tion so we cer­tainly can­not have a ca­sual busi­ness as usual type symposium,” he said.

How­ever, the in­dus­tri­al­ists do not rate the sit­u­a­tion in the coun­try as hope­less but just chal­leng­ing.

“The cur­rent sit­u­a­tion is ad­verse on busi­ness but presents an op­por­tu­nity for us to work to­gether to emerge from it,” said Mr Moyo.

The con­ver­sa­tions will carry dif­fer­ent themes with re­searchers and pre­sen­ters in charge of each ses­sion.

The founder of the Univer­sity of Zim­babwe Grad­u­ate School of Busi­ness; and Sadc Eco­nomic Ad­vi­sor, Pro­fes­sor Antony Hawkins will give a gen­eral over-view of the symposium over-arch­ing theme for the Eco­nomic Out­look on in­terim and long-term strate­gies to ad­dress the eco­nomic chal­lenges.

An­other con­ver­sa­tion will hap­pen un­der a sub-theme: “In­terim and Long-Term Strate­gies to Ease Liq­uid­ity; Re­duce Costs and Grow Ex­ports”.

Lead­ing eco­nomics con­sul­tant and for­mer Univer­sity of Zim­babwe lec­turer, USAID, SERA econ­o­mist Pro­fes­sor Ashok Chakravarti will present on Eas­ing Liq­uid­ity.

“It is hoped dis­cus­sion of this will ul­ti­mately come up with so­lu­tions that will im­prove the coun­try’s liq­uid­ity sit­u­a­tion, and elim­i­nate the ex­ter­nal pay­ments grid­locks,” said Mr Moyo.

Chair­man of CZI Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on Eco­nomics and Bank­ing; Zamco Board Trustee; and Crys­tal Candy man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Jimmy Psil­los will speak on Re­duc­ing Costs which is ex­pected to ex­plore and find sus­tain­able ways to ad­dress cost com­pet­i­tive­ness of Zim­babwe, vis a vis re­gional and in­ter­na­tional coun­ter­parts.

“Cost of do­ing busi­ness in Zim­babwe is very high, in com­par­i­son to our com­peti­tors. This has an ad­verse ef­fect on pro­duc­tion, as well as on ex­ports. The ma­jor is­sue that should be ad­dressed is cost, for in­stance the cost of pro­duc­ing Bon­aqua (mineral) in Zim­babwe ver­sus pro­duc­ing it in Zam­bia is a big prob­lem for us.

“It is 45-55 per­cent higher than in Zam­bia,” said Mr Moyo.

“If you look at ho­tels in the Vic­to­ria Falls and those in Cape Town, you will find that ho­tels in Vic­to­ria Falls are more ex­pen­sive.

“These are the hard hit­ting is­sues that we must talk about. Let us have these is­sues be­ing ad­dressed in the im­me­di­ate.”

ZimTrade chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Ms Sithem­bile Pil­ime will speak on Grow­ing Ex­ports and the aim is to as­sist mem­bers to tap into ex­port in­cen­tives ei­ther from Govern­ment or via Re­serve Bank of Zim­babwe.

Mr Moyo said the CZI has not dropped its call for in­ter­nal de­val­u­a­tion and the RBZ Governor Dr John Man­gudya had adopted the con­cept and may in­clude it in his Mon­e­tary Pol­icy state­ment.

“There was men­tion of in­ter­nal de­val­u­a­tion es­sen­tially takes care of this cost is­sue to say let us ad­dress our cost is­sues from our taxes, charge, levies, among oth­ers. Let us bring them in line with the re­gion, let us bench­mark. That is what in­ter­nal de­val­u­a­tion will do. It will al­low us to bench­mark our costs. So that is go­ing to be part of the dis­cus­sion as to how do we ad­dress the is­sue of costs.

Bu­sisa Moyo

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.