THE African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) says it will next year disburse the second phase of a $70 million fund to revive undercapitalised manufacturing firms.
Afreximbank’s president Jean-Louis Ekra said discussions to extend the Zimbabwe Economic Revival Trade Facility (Zetref II) were at an advanced stage.
“In terms of horizons we believe in the next couple of months or by the beginning of next year Zetref II will be ready,” said Ekra during the bank’s extraordinary general meeting in Harare at the weekend.
“We have been discussing with the honourable Minister of Finance (Tendai Biti), unless you give means to the private sector and small-to-medium enterprises to produce, you will not need government to raise taxes, raise revenues so that government can deal with social issues.
“There is need to give more means to the private and certain sectors to create more revenue for the government.”
Presenting the 2013 National Budget, Biti said government was working with Afreximbank to support productive sectors.
The lifeline comes at a time when capacity utilisation for the manufacturing sector plunged to 44,2% from 57,2% mainly due to underfunding.
He said that participating banks should observe conditions of the facility and those that were delaying in drawing down on allocations would forfeit the funds and Treasury would not hesitate to reallocate the funds.
Banks that were disbursing the funds include TN Bank, FBC Bank, Kingdom Bank, Trust Bank, BancABC, POSB, ZB Bank, Metropolitan Bank, Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe, NMB and Agribank.