Draft Industrial Policy document launched

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The government Wednesday launched the draft Industrial Development Policy document (IDP) aimed at reviving four key sectors of the economy in the next three years.

Through the IDP the government seeks to increase the manufacturing sector’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) to 20% from the current 12%.

It also hopes to increase the contribution of exports from the sector to 50% from 26% of GDP by 2015.

The four key sectors include agro-processing, fertiliser industry, pharmaceuticals, metals and electricals.

The director in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Stanilaus Mangoma, said policy capacity utilisation levels in the manufacturing sector will increase to 90% from 43% in the next three years.

“The policy will look at value addition, skills and plant audits, as most manufacturing plants are very old. The key role is to increase the contribution of the manufacturing sector to GDP,” Mangoma said.

The policy also highlights the need to open a bank that would finance short and long-term financial needs for distressed companies.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Joseph Kanyekanye said the draft policy had managed to address fundamental areas such the setting up of a bank specifically for companies.

“Zimbabwe has many resources yet we have unemployment. We really need to do value addition. We concentrate on primary production at the expense of secondary production,” Kanyekanye said.

He said the country could avert the current upheavals surrounding the certification of diamonds if it was in a position to polish and cut its diamonds.

Former Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce president, Luxon Zembe, said the draft document had to come up with specifics targets for deliverables such as how much employment could be generated by adopting the new policy.

However, Zembe was against the idea of opening an industrial development bank specifically targeted for companies.

“We have a lot of banks in Zimbabwe, why don’t we leverage on institutions that we already have rather than coming up with another parastatal,” Zembe said.

Industry minister Welshman Ncube and his deputy Mike Bimha attended the launch.