President Robert Mugabe is today expected to launch the Industrial Development and National Trade policies amid high hopes the two blue prints would provide impetus to the revival of the ailing manufacturing sector.
The two policies will run from 2012 to 2016.
The two documents envisage increasing manufacturing sector capacity utilisation from the current 57% and ensuring the sector contributes at least 30% to the gross domestic product (GDP).
Under the plan, the sector’s contribution to exports is envisaged to rise to 50% in 2016 from 26% currently.
A 7% GDP growth is expected for the period 2012-2016 in line with the Medium-Term Plan.
An economist with a local bank — who refused to be named for professional reasons — said it was a step in the right direction as this would guide industrial development in the country.
“Many countries have industrial development policies guiding the thrust of the government,” he said.
“However, an industrial policy is only a framework and what is crucial is how the government will actualise the implementation of the policy framework.
“Investors typically examine the fine print, but also watch the implementation process,” he said.
“For our country, which has a long standing capital deficit, the most important issue is how the government will move forward to attract foreign direct investment in an increasingly competitive global environment,” he added.
The economist said there was need to address a plethora of impediments to investments.
“The structural issue to do with overarching debt and arrears, the institutional rigidities for setting up business, access to finance and labour market rigidities have to be addressed as they are all integrated,” he said.
“They must be addressed in their entirety and not piecemeal.”
Industry and Commerce minister Welshman Ncube on Monday told a Press conference the government will set up a financial institution focused on raising funds for the two policies.
“We will decide the best way of creating sustainable funding,” he said.
Ncube said such programmes were normally funded at the beginning of each year under the government works programme.