THE Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) is set to host a business linkages and small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) development workshop, to foster strong business relations for mutual benefit.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
In an industry update, CZI said the committee would invite all value chain players including financiers, SMEs, farmers unions and food processors as well as large corporates to make the workshop broader and more enlightening on all aspects of the value chain.
“Some of the large corporates have indicated that while some SMEs are doing well and have become reliable business to deal with, several SMEs are producing substandard products and are missing out on many opportunities due to inconsistency on supplies,” it said.
“The committee realised there is need to train and educate the local SMEs to be competent to meet the demands of their clients and improving on quality.”
The industry body said the workshop would address challenges faced by SMEs such as product prices and charges, simplifying legal terms on contracts signed with reputable firms as well as improving on consistency issues to ensure comprehensive relations between the big firms and SMEs, respectively.
According to the government, SMEs have become the backbone of the economy, as they make up about 70% of the registered taxpayers, contributing close to 20% to tax revenue.
Despite this, SMEs are facing several challenges, which include poor technological capacity to keep pace with the dynamics of local and international trade, intensified competition in domestic, regional and global markets, a rapidly shrinking domestic market and limited participation in global value chains.