By Wellington Zimbowa
INDUSTRIALISTS have implored the country to urgently adopt key economic policies that enable the retooling of industry as well as minimizing the importation Bill of finished projects.
“Industry is poised at yet another precipice with another year gone without progress. The challenges remain the same, the difference being only in the degree of impact. The journey ahead will depend on the choices that we make and the resolve to deal with the known challenges, many of which are policy-related and need not cost any money to resolve,” CZI president Henry Ruzvidzo said.
Renowned economists, international financial bilateral agencies such as IMF, World Bank have for long called on key national reforms that exert investor confidence, unlock critical foreign direct financial interjections and help retool industry, and address the trade balance sheet.
Giving his executive summary of the 2019 Manufacturing survey report the veteran industrialist called for an all stakeholder hands-on approach premised on crucial policy reforms to create an enabling business condition.
Mr Ruzvidzo bemoaned the demise of GDP contribution by the manufacturing industry, which he said was vibrant and comparable first world economies.
“Contribution of the manufacturing sector to GDP has progressively declined to 12% from the peak of 25%, which was then compared to many first-world economies, with the decline in contribution of manufacturing to foreign currency inflows now insignificant relative to unprocessed commodities.
There have been growing calls for President Emmerson Mnangagwa administration to walk the talk in recovering the beleaguered country’s economy that was the envy of many African states at its peak.
Policy conflict, corruption, misplacement of priorities, legacy debts and money commodification are some of the urgent issues that observers say need to be urgently addressed.
Resultantly, power and liquidity challenges have now become a perennial problem for manufacturers.
According to the African Development Bank, Zimbabwe’s economy projected for a GDP growth of 4.6% in 2020 and 5.6% in 2021, if corrective measures are taken, especially to restore macro-economic stability.
Agriculture, mining, and tourism sectors are regarded as the key sectors critical to kick-start the economy, through increased public and private investments.
Economist, international trade law and development expert Dr Davison Todyson Gomo reiterates the urgency for the government to addressing every micro-economic sector to guarantee a productive base economy and minimize the import bill.
He is on record challenging, “patriotic spending” amongst Zimbabweans with reference to luxurious goods spending by some elite class Zimbabweans on goods that “do not feed into the economy.”
However, the government accuses the Western illegally imposed sanctions for the drastic economic demise that has literally reduced the country into a ‘warehouse’ of foreign products exacerbating hard currency and liquidity challenges.
By Wellington Zimbowa