By Varaidzo Zhakata
ANALYSTS have challenged manufacturers and service providers to make use of the relaxed lockdown measures and the allowance of inter-city travel to maximize production of services and goods to revive the shrinking economy.
The Zimbabwean economy had already been on a downward trend before the COVID- 19 lockdown restrictions further shook it contracting by between 7,5% and 8,5% real gross domestic product (GDP).
In an interview with The BusinessConnect, renowned economist, Prosper Chitambara said the gradual lifting of lockdown restrictions should be welcomed as a positive gear towards the reviving of the economy, as key players are allowed more time to work.
“The easing of lockdown restrictions is a positive development for business because it allows more time for production and manufacturing and retailers, hence allowing for economic revival,” reiterated Chitambara.
Easing of the lockdown restrictions is aiding support to some of the economy’s key pillars, which include manufacturing and production, retail and tourism sectors, as they are all involved in the creation of goods and services that contribute to the GDP of the country.
The tourism sector is also set to benefit from the added operating hours and removal of the inter-city travel ban will give the sector maximum operation time to carry out their business.
Chitambara added that the tourism industry is on an economic revival trajectory as it is slowly opening to both local and international tourists, hence filtering the much-needed foreign currency.
He also implored the government and respective industries too, however, be cautious and continue to employ safety measures to ensure the fight against the global pandemic is won.
“The easing of inter-city travel is also very important for our tourism sector, especially when borders open for regional tourists and international travel has resumed; hence this shows hope that the economy will boost,” said Chitambara.
The Government of Zimbabwe through the ministry of information, broadcasting and publicity services announced on the 14th September 2020 relaxation of lockdown measures, allowing businesses an increased time of working hours, from 06:30Hrs – 18:30Hrs.
By Varaidzo Zhakata