'TSP key to un­lock pri­vate sec­tor' :

The Manica Post - - Front Page - Rumbidzayi Zinyuke Se­nior Re­porter

Amar­ketS ZIM­BABWE moves to­wards achiev­ing a mid­dle in­come econ­omy by 2030,

watch­ers be­lieve pri­vate sec­tor will be the an­swer that Zim­babwe needs to grow the econ­omy.

As such, there have been ef­forts by Govern­ment to come up with ways of mak­ing the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor pro­duc­tive once again to grow ex­ports and in­crease for­eign cur­rency gen­er­a­tion for the coun­try.

The Tran­si­tional Sta­bil­i­sa­tion Pro­gramme, which was launched last month, has put in place such mea­sures that seek to set the econ­omy on a re­cov­ery path af­ter years of stag­na­tion and it has set out key tar­gets.

“The Tran­si­tional Sta­bil­i­sa­tion Pro­gramme ac­knowl­edges the ex­tent of de­cline in the econ­omy’s in­dus­trial sec­tor, which has seen ex­ports from the coun­try’s min­ing and agri­cul­ture sec­tors be­ing pre­dom­i­nantly ex­ported in raw form and re­gional ex­ports slowly dy­ing out. In this re­gard, tar­geted in­dus­trial pol­icy in­ter­ven­tions are in­dis­pens­able for sus­tain­able catch up de­vel­op­ment, un­der­pinned by Vi­sion 2030’s po­lit­i­cal gov­er­nance thrust to make short-term sac­ri­fices for the re­al­i­sa­tion of long-term eco­nomic growth pri­or­i­ties and gains,” reads the TSP.

Speak­ing at a meet­ing with cap­tains of in­dus­try re­cently, Min­is­ter of In­dus­try and Com­merce, Man­gal­iso Ndlovu said the econ­omy had to be pri­vate sec­tor led for it to move on from the cur­rent rut it was in.

“Govern­ment’s role is to fa­cil­i­tate through a sup­port­ive macro-eco­nomic and busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment. It is crit­i­cal that we en­gage in ro­bust dis­cus­sions that seek to bring out the roles and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of each of us. Look at what we ex­pect Govern­ment to do for us to have the en­vi­ron­ment that we want and what are our re­spon­si­bil­i­ties as in­dus­try. As we go, we will tag along agri­cul­ture be­cause it has a crit­i­cal role in our eco­nomic re­vival,” he said.

He said in­dus­try’s heavy re­liance on im­ported agri­cul­tural in­puts was a cause for con­cern for Govern­ment and would be looked into in the TSP.

“The TSP ad­dresses in­puts sup­ply across the value chain. I am happy that some of the oil ex­pressers have ven­tured into sup­port­ing agri­cul­ture by in­tro­duc­ing out­grower schemes for such crops as soya beans and we hope this, in the next few years, will pay div­i­dends es­pe­cially look­ing at our im­port sub­sti­tu­tion mech­a­nisms,” said Min­is­ter Ndlovu.

He added that the TSP would also ad­dress the un­der­ly­ing causes of high cost of do­ing busi­ness and do­mes­tic cost of fi­nance.

“TSP pri­ori­tises in­creased in­vest­ment in the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor. There are ef­forts to try and at­tract in­vest­ment into the sec­tor but we want to fa­cil­i­tate growth that is led by pri­vate sec­tor. I wish to em­pha­sise that Govern­ment will not be pri­mar­ily the fun­ders of the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor, but we wish to pro­mote other joint ven­tures, For­eign Di­rect In­vest­ment and other var­i­ous forms of in­vest­ment into the sec­tor. Govern­ment will do what­ever it can to sup­port ef­forts by pri­vate sec­tor to ac­cess fi­nanc­ing from lo­cal fi­nanciers.

“We have been ac­cused of seem­ingly favour­ing FDI but we value and ap­pre­ci­ate do­mes­tic in­vest­ment; we are do­ing ev­ery­thing we can to make sure that this en­vi­ron­ment favours you first. But we also have to open our econ­omy for for­eign in­vestors.”

Con­fed­er­a­tion of Zim­babwe In­dus­tries pres­i­dent, Mr Sife­lani Ja­bangwe said TSP was a sound pol­icy that needed an im­ple­men­ta­tion frame­work to align it to the In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment Pol­icy and Trade pol­icy.

“As CZI, we are work­ing with our mem­bers to come up with a strat­egy that will align the TSP to th­ese poli­cies. We be­lieve that the pri­vate sec­tor will in­deed play a piv­otal role in the re­vival of the econ­omy. We need the pri­vate sec­tor to be en­gaged in the whole pro­cesses,” he said.

He said CZI was pro­ject­ing a 9, 7 per­cent growth rate in 2019 for in­dus­try as a step to­wards achiev­ing some of the tar­gets set within the TSP. This is up from the 6, 3 per­cent tar­gets for 2018.

Zim­babwe Na­tional Cham­ber of Com­merce Man­i­ca­land re­gion chair­man Mr Clive Chin­wada con­curred that the TSP was a good pol­icy doc­u­ment in that it ac­knowl­edged the root cause of some the chal­lenges the econ­omy is fac­ing.

“The TSP recog­nises that this macroe­co­nomic en­vi­ron­ment is the key chal­lenge that busi­ness has to grap­ple with to start grow­ing. It also iden­ti­fied the need to re­store fis­cal bal­ance, mo­bil­i­sa­tion of do­mes­tic sav­ings and ex­port com­pet­i­tive­ness as key in­gre­di­ents to the re­al­i­sa­tion of a vi­brant econ­omy. To this end, as busi­ness we be­lieve that the taste of the pud­ding is in the eat­ing. The ex­tent to which Govern­ment im­ple­ments and ex­e­cutes around the restora­tion of fis­cal dis­ci­pline, for ex­am­ple, will de­ter­mine the suc­cess of the pol­icy,” he said.

He said the cross cut­ting themes of gov­er­nance, macro-eco­nomic sta­bil­ity and en­gage­ment with in­ter­na­tional mul­ti­lat­eral agen­cies, in­clu­sive growth, in­fra­struc­ture and util­i­ties de­vel­op­ment and so­cial de­vel­op­ment were crit­i­cal is­sues that were ham­per­ing busi­ness.

“The busi­ness com­mu­nity is will­ing to work with Govern­ment for the bet­ter­ment of the coun­try and the econ­omy. Govern­ment there­fore needs not play lip ser­vice to en­gage­ment and if this is the case, I am sure the suc­cess of the TSP will be well within reach,” added Mr Chin­wada.

Min­is­ter Ndlovu

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