Past 9 months extremely tough: Industry

CONFEDERATION of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) president Henry Ruzvidzo says the past nine months have been extremely tough for most companies, and expressed hope that the 2020 National Budget would bring about some relief in terms of market and currency stability.

BY FIDELITY MHLANGA

Finance minister Mthuli Ncube will present the National Budget on Thursday next week.

Industry is facing a plethora of challenges that include foreign currency shortages, power cuts, exchange rate fluctuations, policy inconsistencies and corruption.

“The last nine months have been trying for the industry. Commitment to the mono-currency must be clear. I think we know of instances when we have other sections of our economy insisting on payment in US dollars. This puts the local currency under threat,”Ruzvidzo said.

“The biggest challenge is fiscal deficit because we are not borrowing from outside, we are resorting to local borrowing through overdrafts and Treasury Bills to finance deficits. We hope the budget will address that.”

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce says it has set up a ministerial advisory committee comprising private sector players to breathe life to the Zimbabwe National Industrial Development Policy (ZNIDP). Launched in June, the ZNIDP (2019-2023) seeks to turn the manufacturing sector into a technologically advanced, competitive and diversified industry by 2030.

“In the Ministry of Industry we set up the ministerial advisory committee, which comprises renowned private sector players working with our own ministry staff to translate the ZNIDP into a live outputs and outcomes driven initiative,” Industry minister Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu said in a speech read on his behalf at the financial indaba in Harare yesterday. The strategic objectives of the ZNIDP include facilitating sustainable growth of industry, development of new industries and the transformation and diversification of the local industry.

“I think we have reached a stage where collectively, in both private and public sectors, we need to focus our intentions on how we craft solutions to the known challenges so that we expend our energies more productively.

“There is a mix of short to medium-term policies and strategies that we wish to adopt in the ZNIDP to spur industrialisation, such as improving the business operating environment, mobilising funding for industrial development, supporting mining and agricultural sectors, enhancing research and development skills transfer as well as infrastructure development,” Ndlovu said.

The financial Indaba was held under the theme Driving towards 2030 economy anchored on production and exports.

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