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New industrial policy on cards

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The government is set to adopt a new industrial policy in the first quarter of the year as it moots ways of reversing the effects of the de-industrialisation phase the country went through and ensure 100% capacity utilisation by 2015 an official has said.

Zimbabwe’s industrial sector collapsed over the past 10 years owing to political feuding, which led to a near economic meltdown.

Professor Welshman Ncube, Minister for Industry and Commerce told NewsDay that the draft document will be debated in Cabinet when it resumes sitting in February.

“Everything should be in place within the next three months,” said Ncube.

“Cabinet will have its input once after which a final draft will be produced and presented to stakeholders before being finally adopted.”

Ncube said the country’s industry has not been performing well hence the need to inject a new impetus into the sector.

“The industrial policy is expected to deal with the shortage of skills, the availing of medium to long-term lines of credit for working capital as well as the availability of utility services among other requirements,” said Ncube

He said the industrial policy objective is to restore the manufacturing sector to full utilisation.

According to results of a survey released by Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency this week, the country’s manufacturing sector production peaked at 47,3% in 2010.

The industrial policy also envisages reviving the country’s exports, especially within the Common Market for East and Southern Africa.

Through the policy the government will also find ways of unlocking medium to long- term lines of credit to finance recapitalisation, addressing the drawback of old and antiquated equipment, as well as accessing new technologies in the various sectors.

“A number of stakeholders proposed the availing of a bank dedicated to funding industrial needs and the formulation of a trade policy that provides an opportunity for the industry to grow,” Ncube said.

Most of Zimbabwe’s neighbouring countries have a distinct industrial policy in place while it has been difficult for Zimbabwe to formulate one owing to the economic turmoil of the previous years.

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