PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa (pictured) has urged all players in industry and commerce to produce quality products, increase industrial capacity utilisation, think outside the box, innovate and use technology to reduce productivity costs and enhance product competitiveness.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Officially opening the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) on Friday, Mnangagwa said viable industrialisation strategies were fundamental for value addition and beneficiation of the natural and home-grown resources.
“I, therefore, exhort all players in industry and commerce to produce quality products, increase industrial capacity utilisation, think outside the box, innovate and use technology as well as appropriate solutions to reduce productivity costs and enhance product competitiveness,” he said.
“Industry must adopt viable policies and business strategies which foster export-led economic growth. I further call upon business enterprises to establish business linkages with the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMESs) towards increased collaboration and more inclusive economic growth,” Mnangagwa said.
He said equally important was the need for closer, purposeful and strategic collaboration between industry and institutions of higher learning to encourage technological advancement and innovation as well as ensure appropriate skill development and knowledge driven economic development.
Mnangagwa said government was making concerted efforts to increase the supply of utilities such as electricity and water.
He also said the construction of Gwayi-Shangani Dam has resumed in earnest following the requisite budgetary allocation, and is expected to generate power and also increase water supply and availability to the region.
Mnangagwa said government was cognisant of the high costs of trading across borders, as well as undue congestion at the country’s ports of entry, which impacted on competitiveness in doing export business.
“Processes are underway to mordernise our border posts, in terms of physical infrastructure and enhanced use of reliable ICT systems. These initiatives should ease congestion and facilitate efficient movement of goods and people,” he said.
“Meanwhile, I direct border officials such as Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, Department of Immigration and others, to introspect and change their work ethic, attitude and culture and facilitate the speedy movement of people and clearance of cargo at our ports of entry,” he said.
He said government was aware of the foreign currency shortages and liquidity challenges the country was grappling with.
“In this respect, I call upon industry, commerce and SMEs to be productive, export-oriented and generate the much-needed foreign exchange,” he said.
He exhorted business to be alive to the fast-converging global trading environment and develop business strategies that recognises the impact of protocols in Southern African Development Community, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and the recent African Continental Free Trade Area signed at the African Union in March 2018.