BY KUDAKWASHE TAGWIREYI
SECRETARY in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Mavis Sibanda on Thursday said the country’s industrial sector needs resuscitation; hence the need for more coordinated value chains to enable efficiency in production and distribution of goods.
Sibanda said this in Harare during her opening remarks at the value chain strengthening workshop.
“It is common knowledge that the manufacturing sector went through a phase of de-industrialisation. Now is the time to resuscitate, re-strategise and move forward.
“In this endeavour, the government has identified the strengthening of our already existing value chains as a key strategy to reclaim our place as a strong and growing manufacturing base in Southern Africa.”
She said Zimbabwe has prioritised 10 value chains which are dairy, sugar, bus and truck, fertiliser, plastic waste, pharmaceutical, clothing, leather, soya and steel value chains.
“Government on its part is committed to deliver an enabling business environment and facilitate private sector growth.”
She said the workshop will analyse progress made in five value chains; namely the dairy, sugar, bus and truck, fertiliser and plastic waste value chains.
“Government will continue to support local industry through various policy interventions which include policies to support the value chain players. Recently, the government gazetted SI 89 of 2021, which restricts the importation of vehicles to allow for local production of motor vehicles and components. This will lead to import substitution and great savings in foreign currency.”
She said Zimbabwe has opportunities for trade with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) importing over 85% of its food requirements from other countries, while Zimbabwe has an opportunity to export raw and processed foods and beneficiated minerals such as phosphates.
“The UAE is a principal exporter of machinery, which presents opportunities for local companies to source for machinery and completely knocked down kits.”
Sibanda said the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is an opportunity for the country as the global economy is increasingly structured around value chains, providing firms an opportunity to produce locally and to participate in the global economy.
“This means that we need to be more competitive in order for our industry to be able to withstand the impending competition and be able to also gain market access into the new markets. Competitiveness speaks to our cost structures, logistics, quality assurance and patents as we trade in the largest free trade area in the world with approximately 1.3 billion potential customers,” Sibanda said.