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CZI suspends Industrialist Award

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The Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) has suspended the Industrialist Award for a second year until comparability makes more scientific sense under the present multiple currency regime, furthering evidence that recovery is slow and fragile.

The country’s premier industry representative body says industrial performance will have to be assessed over a period of at least three years based mainly on firms’ turnover volumes.

“Regrettably, in terms of performance measurement, we have not progressed from last year’s condition. We have once again been forced to hold one of the awards in abeyance,” Lorraine Chikanya, CZI chief economist said, laying out the criteria for judgment.

To qualify for the award, companies would also be assessed in terms of levels of capacity utilisation, based on a three-year moving average as well.

Although 2009 marked a turning point for Zimbabwe’s economy, reversing 11 years of incessant decline and changing the rail track for the economy, recovery is estimated to have plateaued prematurely at low levels of plant capacity owing to capital, power and input supply challenges.

The stock of economic analyses on Zimbabwe’s industrial and export capacity generated since this economic watershed appears to push the one point that the country has already seen its best in terms of economic growth.

After surging 4,7% last year, the economy’s rate of growth is projected to slow to around 2,2%, according to the International Monetary Fund. But government thinks the movement will be higher than that at about 5,4%.

Despite a decline in exports last year, CZI still rewarded firms that significantly expanded their foreign business.

Olivine Industries scooped the 2009 Exporter of the Year Award, followed by Nestlè and Sino Zimbabwe Limited.

The prize recognised firms that grew primarily in terms of export turnover based on Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe statistics.

The company also doubled its shields with an Energy Efficiency Award, which rewarded Zesa’s large power users for implementing firm-level demand-side management and energy-saving initiatives.

Mutare Board & Doors and BAT Zimbabwe were first runner-up and second runner-up, respectively.

The Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution and Transmission Company (ZETDC) estimates industry has potential to save as much as 29,5% of its current energy demand.

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