ED to meet busi­ness com­mu­nity

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - NEWS - Dar­ling­ton Musarurwa News Edi­tor

PRES­I­DENT Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa will meet mem­bers of the busi­ness com­mu­nity at State House in Harare to­mor­row for a “pre­dom­i­nantly in­ter­ac­tive” ses­sion that seeks to tap in­dus­try’s views as Govern­ment shapes its vi­sion for the fu­ture.

Deputy Chief Sec­re­tary to the Pres­i­dent and Cab­i­net (Pres­i­den­tial Com­mu­ni­ca­tions) Mr Ge­orge Charamba told The Sun­day Mail yes­ter­day that the meet­ing rep­re­sented the be­gin­ning of “in­ten­sive in­ter­ac­tion” be­tween Govern­ment and busi­ness.

“On Mon­day morn­ing, His Ex­cel­lency the Pres­i­dent is host­ing the busi­ness com­mu­nity — bankers and in­dus­tri­al­ists — to a break­fast meet­ing at State House. This is the be­gin­ning of in­ten­sive in­ter­ac­tion be­tween the Pres­i­dent and var­i­ous eco­nomic play­ers as the coun­try works to re­cover the econ­omy in line with the Tran­si­tional Sta­bil­i­sa­tion Pro­gramme,” said the Pres­i­den­tial Spokesper­son.

“The meet­ing will be pre­dom­i­nantly in­ter­ac­tive. The Pres­i­dent wants to get the think­ing of the busi­ness com­mu­nity in re­spect of the broad poli­cies Govern­ment has spelt out and in re­spect to the re­cent mea­sures taken to sta­bilise the sup­ply of goods on the lo­cal mar­ket,” he said.

Busi­nesses have be­come in­creas­ingly fret­ful af­ter Cab­i­net de­cided to sus­pend Statu­tory In­stru­ment 122, which re­stricts im­ports of cer­tain goods that can be pro­duced lo­cally.

The in­ter­ven­tion is meant to cover the sup­ply gaps of ba­sic com­modi­ties on the mar­ket af­ter re­tail­ers failed to meet panic-in­duced con­sumer de­mand.

Although busi­ness ac­knowl­edges that Govern­ment acted in the best in­ter­est of con­sumers, who were buf­feted by short­ages of ba­sic com­modi­ties and ex­tor­tion­ately high prices, they are cur­rently seek­ing as­sur­ances that the in­ter­ven­tion is tem­po­rary.

In­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tive bod­ies are push­ing for the ex­pe­di­tious im­ple­men­ta­tion of a Lo­cal Con­tent Pol­icy that will in­su­late busi­nesses from the in­flux of cheap goods.

Govern­ment has al­ready in­di­cated that the pol­icy — which will com­pel lo­cal and cen­tral Govern­ment, in­clud­ing pub­lic en­ti­ties, to pro­cure lo­cally where the ca­pac­ity ex­ists — will be launched be­fore year-end.

Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa, who of­ten says he is a lis­ten­ing Pres­i­dent, will be hav­ing his sec­ond in­ter­face with busi­ness rep­re­sen­ta­tives this year.

On Jan­uary 18, the Head of State and Govern­ment met the Zim­babwe Busi­ness Club, a pri­vate or­gan­i­sa­tion made up of busi­ness peo­ple and cap­tains of in­dus­try.

Govern­ment is try­ing to rally all stake­hold­ers to in­vest in Vi­sion 2030, which is premised on build­ing an up­per mid­dle-in­come econ­omy in the next 12 years.

The TSP has been launched by Fi­nance and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Pro­fes­sor Mthuli Ncube as a roadmap to guide eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment from Oc­to­ber this year to De­cem­ber 2020.

It will be suc­ceeded by two five-year eco­nomic pro­grammes that will run through 2030.

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