INDUSTRY and Commence deputy minister Raj Modi has said there is need for Zimbabweans to have the willpower to revive industries.
By NIZBERT MOYO
Modi made the remarks while addressing captains of industry and the business community during a Zimbabwe is Open for Business forum in Bulawayo, organised by the Corporate Capital Consultancy.
The meeting was held under the theme Bulawayo is its Industrial and Cultural Hub, and was aimed at discussing possible solutions that can be implemented to make the production sector in Bulawayo function at full capacity and realise competitive advantage.
The platform was used to chart a way forward in the reinvention and resuscitation of industries.
Modi said the revival of industries did not only require ideas and new technology, but willpower as well.
“Do not underestimate the power of willpower to change the industrial landscape,” he said.
“Failure will not even be a possibility if our determination to succeed is strong enough, but willpower without hard work is nothing; hard work pays, hard work works. Some people do not give us a chance, they say reviving industry is an abortive attempt, but I say industries will not be revived if we wait for some persons or some other time,” he said.
“As we embark on this journey, we will not agree on everything. If we do, we must be doing something wrong. But as we agree and disagree, we should not forget that which unites us is that we want our industries to work. We want our people to buy Zimbabwe, we want to reduce the import bill.”
Modi said foreign investors could only come to Zimbabwe if the country makes it easy and quick for them to start businesses, giving them tax relief, reducing transaction fees, guaranteeing the safety of their investments, giving them property rights, shunning corruption, fraud and deception.
“We need to make sure that our international trade fairs bring potential foreign investors to a concentrated location,” he said, adding trade fairs would zoom in on specific industries, countries and cities.
Modi indicated that it would only be rhetoric if the country does not implement reform plans and said days of talk shows were over.
“Factories must scale up production and the closed ones must open,” he said.
Modi said all this could be achievable if industry embraced the spirit of November, which gave birth to the new dispensation, which showed the world that Zimbabweans were united towards achieving everything they desired.
However, captains of industries bemoaned the lack of willingness by government to address issues of illicit financial dealings, which has made it difficult for some companies outside Harare to access loans.
They also claimed government was not coming up with laws to lure the return of its citizens who run huge companies outside the country, with most of them unwilling to come back because their equipment would face exorbitant taxes.