CABINET has reportedly approved the setting-up of the National Competitiveness Commission which is expected to be operational by the first quarter of 2015 to eliminate distortions and policy inconsistencies associated with doing business in Zimbabwe.
Speaking at the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra)’s International Customs Day in Harare, Industry and Commerce secretary Abigail Shonhiwa said the commission would specifically deal with bottlenecks experienced by investors at the country’s border posts.
“I have already made reference to the National Competitiveness Commission which we expect to be up and running in the first half of 2015, precisely to deal with some of these bottlenecks. While the National Competitive Commission is being set up, Cabinet decided to put in place a standing committee which will be attending to these matters with immediate effect,” Shonhiwa said.
She said the decision by Cabinet follows a cost driver analysis study that was commissioned by her ministry.
“. . . the study confirmed that Zimbabwe needs to address the factors that facilitate the ease of doing business. The ministry is also equally seized with the improvement in the local industrial capacity utilisation and facilitating new investments in order to boost production and reduce our huge import bill,” she said.
“In this respect , the ease of doing business can only be enhanced when processes at our border posts are streamlined to avoid situations where several government departments fall over each other requiring numerous documentation and fees or levies from the business community and the traders or tourist at different stages of the clearance process.
“This has the undesirable effect of lengthening the process and thus adding to the cost of doing business,” she said.
Shonhiwa also encouraged the nation to desist from underhand dealings such as corruption, smuggling, tax evasion and bribery as this was the number one enemy of economic growth, entrepreneurship and innovation.
In a speech read on his behalf, Zimra commissioner-general Gershem Pasi said the efficiency of systems at the border posts had a bearing on the country’s overall competitiveness on the international market.
Pasi called for joint efforts from all stakeholders to ensure that border posts were run efficiently for the convenience of the transacting public.