Zim work­ing on new eco­nomic pol­icy

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Business - Enacy Ma­pakame in VIC­TO­RIA FALLS

GOV­ERN­MENT is work­ing on a new short­term eco­nomic blue­print that is ex­pected to help sta­bilise the econ­omy as it moves to­wards achiev­ing the mid­dle in­come sta­tus by 2030.

The short-term eco­nomic plan is set to pro­vide the ba­sis upon which the new Gov­ern­ment led by Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa which got a fresh man­date from the elec­torate re­cently, will work, and move the coun­try for­ward.

Speak­ing at the Stan­dards As­so­ci­a­tion of Zim­babwe (SAZ) Busi­ness Lead­ers Con­fer­ence 2018 in Vic­to­ria Falls yes­ter­day, Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary in the Of­fice of the Pres­i­dent and Cabi­net, Am­bas­sador Stu­art Comber­bach, said the draft had al­ready been dis­trib­uted to key stake­hold­ers for con­sid­er­a­tion.

Although he could not di­vulge more de­tails on the pol­icy doc­u­ment, Am­bas­sador Comber­bach said the pol­icy should pro­vide step­ping stones for eco­nomic sta­bil­ity.

The two-year plan will be fol­lowed by two other five-year na­tional de­vel­op­ment plans that are ex­pected to usher the coun­try into 2030, by which time Zim­babwe is tar­get­ing to be a mid­dle-in­come econ­omy and tar­gets a Gross Do­mes­tic Prod­uct (GDP) of over $65 bil­lion.

On av­er­age, coun­tries with per capita gross na­tional in­comes of be­tween $996 and $12 195 fall un­der this cat­e­gory.

Said Am­bas­sador Comber­bach: “There is a short-term plan that Gov­ern­ment has been work­ing on for eco­nomic sta­bil­i­sa­tion. This is a two year plan, which is now ready in draft form and will ob­vi­ously go through con­sid­er­a­tion by the new Cabi­net and see to what ex­tent it meets ex­pec­ta­tions.

“It should guide the econ­omy for the next two years and there af­ter we will have two five year na­tional de­vel­op­ment plans. The first one will be for 2021 to 2025 and an­other in 2016 to 2030, lead­ing us into the vi­sion 2030 mid­dle in­come econ­omy.

“I can­not pro­vide fur­ther de­tails, but I have al­ready re­ceived my draft copy.”

The new short-term plan comes at a time the Zim­babwe Agenda for Sus­tain­able Eco­nomic Trans­for­ma­tion Agenda (Zim-As­set) life span is ex­pir­ing at the end of year.

Zim-As­set iden­ti­fied among oth­ers, in­fra­struc­ture, value ad­di­tion and ben­e­fi­ci­a­tion, as en­ablers to eco­nomic growth and sought to ad­dress some of the key chal­lenges the econ­omy faced, such as un­em­ploy­ment.

Am­bas­sador Comber­bach said there was po­lit­i­cal will from the new Gov­ern­ment, which should see the econ­omy grow­ing.

He said Gov­ern­ment was com­mit­ted to ad­dress­ing chal­lenges that hin­der for­eign direct in­vest­ment as well as the prob­lems dog­ging State En­ter­prises and Paras­tatals, so that they gain com­pet­i­tive­ness.

Paras­tatals have been per­form­ing dis­mally, with 38 out of 93 State-owned firms au­dited in 2016 in­cur­ring a com­bined $270 mil­lion loss ow­ing to weak cor­po­rate gov­er­nance prac­tices and in­ef­fec­tive con­trol mech­a­nisms.

Grain Millers As­so­ci­a­tion chair­per­son, Mr Tafadzwa Musarara (cen­tre) ad­dresses jour­nal­ists on the wheat sup­ply sit­u­a­tion in the coun­try while flanked by Blue Rib­bon Foods gen­eral man­ager Yusuf Ka­mau (left) and GMAZ vice chair­man Chipo Nheta in Harare yes­ter­day.— Pic­ture by Shel­ton Muchena

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