Pri­vate sec­tor con­fi­dent in ED

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - BUSINESS - Busi­ness Re­porter

ZIM­BABWE’s pri­vate sec­tor has ex­pressed con­fi­dence in Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa’s ad­min­is­tra­tion, say­ing it has the ca­pac­ity to turn around the coun­try’s eco­nomic for­tunes to achieve mid­dle-in­come econ­omy sta­tus by 2030.

Since com­ing into of­fice in Novem­ber 2017 and fol­low­ing the 2018 har­monised elec­tions, Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa has pledged to turn around the coun­try’s eco­nomic for­tunes.

Even at events where pol­i­tics is or­di­nar­ily sup­posed to take cen­tre stage, the Pres­i­dent has not missed the op­por­tu­nity to re­mind Zim­bab­weans, and the world at large, that Zim­babwe is open for busi­ness and that his ad­min­is­tra­tion is work­ing hard to re­build the econ­omy.

This fo­cus on the econ­omy has been wel­comed by the busi­ness com­mu­nity. Innscor Africa Lim­ited, one of the coun­try’s sin­gle largest con­glom­er­ates with in­ter­ests across the re­tail, agro-pro­cess­ing, agro-in­dus­trial and man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tors, has ex­pressed con­fi­dence in the new dis­pen­sa­tion’s ca­pac­ity. The Zim­babwe Stock Ex­change (ZSE) listed en­tity has said it is happy that Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa’s Gov­ern­ment is di­rect­ing its en­ergy to­wards the econ­omy. “We are ex­tremely en­cour­aged by the poli­cies

out­lined by the coun­try’s new lead­er­ship and it is clear that all key stake­hold­ers must be­come aligned if these poli­cies are to be suc­cess­fully im­ple­mented,” said Innscor’s chair­man, Mr Ad­ding­ton Chi­nake.

Mr Chi­nake said the Group is wit­ness­ing the pos­i­tive im­pact of Gov­ern­ment’s poli­cies.

“The econ­omy has started to show some growth, ev­i­denced by good lev­els of vol­umes across our plat­forms over the past few months,” he said.

Innscor said it will con­tinue to sup­port Gov­ern­ment’s poli­cies aimed at mak­ing the coun­try more self-suf- fi­cient through ini­tia­tives such as con­tract farming of maize, wheat and soya beans as well as iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of op­por­tu­ni­ties to in­crease lo­cal pro­duc­tion of milk.

As a show of con­fi­dence, Innscor is also look­ing at ex­pand­ing its op­er­a­tions to meet “in­creas­ing de­mand.

“We are ex­tremely op­ti­mistic with re­gards to the coun­try’s growth po­ten­tial and have com­menced ex­pan­sion projects in each of the in­di­vid­ual busi­nesses to meet in­creas­ing de­mand.”

He said in order to sus­tain the Group’s cur­rent growth rate and as­so­ci­ated im­ported raw ma­te­rial re­quire­ments, it will also be im­per­a­tive to eval­u­ate in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties with large ex­port po­ten­tial, even if they are out­side the Group’s cur­rent fo­cus.

Grow­ing and di­ver­si­fy­ing the ex­port sec­tor is one of Gov­ern­ment’s eco­nomic thrust amid ef­forts to grow for­eign cur­rency earn­ings, which has be­come an im­ped­i­ment to grow­ing the econ­omy.

Also im­pressed by what is hap­pen­ing in the econ­omy is hote­lier Rain­bow Tourism Group, with chair­man Mr Si­jab­u­liso Biyam say­ing the busi­ness is “en­cour­aged by the op­por­tu­ni­ties that are be­ing pre­sented by an econ­omy that is open­ing up to the world.”

In a state­ment ac­com­pa­ny­ing the Group’s fi­nan­cial re­sults, Mr Biyam said tourism glob­ally de­pends on a strong and pos­i­tive na­tion brand that guar­an­tees trav­ellers their safety, se­cu­rity and unique ex­pe­ri­ences.

“The changes that have taken place, cul­mi­nat­ing in a suc­cess­ful hold­ing of the coun­try’s elec­tions, have sent the right mes­sage to the world.

The up­grad­ing of core in­fra­struc­ture around the coun­try, in­clud­ing air­ports, roads and ho­tels will go a long way in gen­er­at­ing en­hanced rev­enues for the in­dus­try and busi­ness,” he said.

Quick ser­vices restau­rant com­pany, Sim­bisa, also ex­pressed op­ti­mism that “sta­bil­i­sa­tion in the so­cio-po­lit­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment and the im­pend­ing eco­nomic re­form in the wake of elec­tions will pave the way for con­tin­ued growth and new op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

Listed in­sur­ance com­pany, Fi­delity Life, added its voice on pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ments in the coun­try, say­ing eco­nomic re­forms and in­ter­na­tional re-en­gage­ment re­main at the core of the out-turn of the Zim­bab­wean econ­omy in the medium to long term.

Busi­ness­man and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Im­pala car rental, Dr Thomp­son Dondo praised Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa for bring­ing in a new work ethic in Gov­ern­ment.

He also called on the pri­vate sec­tor to sup­port Gov­ern­ment in its en­deav­ours.

“The pri­vate sec­tor must not only give Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa and his Cab­i­net a chance to re­vive the econ­omy, we must also play a part as busi­ness and sup­port them.

Dr Dondo cap­tured the anx­i­ety that is in the coun­try and en­cour­aged the na­tion to be pa­tient.

“So much is ex­pected from this Gov­ern­ment such that some peo­ple are ex­pect­ing mir­a­cles within a few weeks.

They want bank queues for cash to im­me­di­ately dis­ap­pear.

They want jobs im­me­di­ately. They want pay in­creases im­me­di­ately.

Mea­sures are be­ing put in place and re­sults will start show­ing in due course,” he said. Work still to be done Fi­delity Life chair­man Mr Fun­gai Ruwende said if the coun­try is to brighten its eco­nomic prospects, Gov­ern­ment has to be in­ten­tional and for­ward look­ing in im­ple­ment­ing mea­sures that will sta­bilise the chal­leng­ing and un­set­tled eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment that in­dus­try is cur­rently op­er­at­ing in.

The same sen­ti­ments were shared by Axia chair­man Mr Luke Ng­werume.

In a state­ment ac­com­pa­ny­ing the Group’s fi­nan­cial re­sults, Mr Ng­werume said the Group is hope­ful that in the “medium to long term, the coun­try will re­store busi­ness con­fi­dence and of­fer good prospects for sus­tain­able growth de­spite the cur­rent pre­vail­ing eco­nomic re­al­i­ties.”

Some of the big­gest chal­lenges still faced by busi­nesses in­clude but are not lim­ited to for­eign cur­rency short­ages to im­port ad­e­quate raw ma­te­ri­als as well as the high cost of do­ing busi­ness.

But with the elec­tion phase now be­hind us, busi­ness is happy that at­ten­tion is now di­rected to­wards re­solv­ing some of the chal­lenges fac­ing the econ­omy.

Na­tional Foods, one of the lead­ing play­ers in the pro­vi­sion of ba­sic com­modi­ties, said the di­rect and in­creas­ing im­pact that some of these is­sues are hav­ing on the busi­ness are dam­ag­ing and not sus­tain­able.

Due to the lim­ited avail­abil­ity of for­eign cur­rency, the com­pany’s po­si­tion with its for­eign cred­i­tors de­te­ri­o­rated sig­nif­i­cantly over the year, with US$37,59 mil­lion re­main­ing out­stand­ing to for­eign wheat sup­pli­ers at the end of the pe­riod.

“It is cru­cial that a so­lu­tion for this debt is found in the im­me­di­ate fu­ture,” chair­man Mr Todd Moyo said in a state­ment ac­com­pa­ny­ing the Group’s fi­nan­cial re­sults.

“Pro­vided that mean­ing­ful so­lu­tions to these chal­lenges can be found, we be­lieve that there will be sig­nif­i­cant op­por­tu­ni­ties to sup­ply a broader range of cat­e­gories as eco­nomic con­di­tions and the po­si­tion of the con­sumer im­prove fur­ther,” said Mr Moyo.

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