|Natural resources key to revival: Mujuru|
|Thursday, 26 April 2012 00:00|
VICE-President Joice Mujuru yesterday said Zimbabwe should use its natural resources base as a major source of funding to revive the economy, with the sources being well managed and accounted for. Her speech was read on her behalf by Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu at the official opening of the International Business Conference in Bulawayo.
She said there had been progress in the setting up of a Minerals Exploration Company to establish the quantity and value of the country’s mineral resources.
The ZITF’s theme for this year is “Investing locally and reaping dividends globally, turning a rich resource base into an industrial hub”.
The theme has attracted 675 local exhibitors and 167 foreign companies from 17 countries.
“It requires deliberate planning to drive the agenda,” she said. “We should seek partnerships in identifying and developing these areas of growth.”
She said there was a need to upgrade technology and improve infrastructure to create a conducive environment to lure investors to invest in the country.
She also called on Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to invest in infrastructure development and recapitalisation of the mining sector.
Mining and agriculture are the major contributors to the GDP. Since 2009 the two sectors have contributed significantly to economic revival.
The Minister of Industry and Commerce, Prof Welshman Ncube, told the conference the recently launched Industrial Development Policy and the National Trade Policy were designed to create an enabling environment to lure investment and growth in the economy.
According to the Industrial Development Policy, Zimbabwe’s economy is expected to grow by at least 7,1 percent by 2015, driven by exports.
He said exports were expected to increase from 20 to 30 percent while the manufacturing sector was also expected to grow from 16 to 30 percent.
“We are working towards addressing capacity utilisation and the two trade policies should be able to unlock investment and trade functions should be operational,” said Prof Ncube.
During the same period export earnings were expected to grow by 20 percent from US$4 billion to US$11 billion.
Prof Ncube said Government was seeking to promote trade and protect trade through harmonisation of trade laws and enhancing trade negotiations between Zimbabwe and its trading partners.
“Government must also set up a sustainable infrastructure system. So we must re-examine the industry and improve the methods of production.”
He added that more funds should be channelled towards value addition as 93 percent of the country’s exports were in primary products.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said Zimbabwe requires new investment and resuscitation of the old equipment in companies to increase capacity utilisation and value-add existing natural resources.
He said unlocking value in natural resources would help create employment and create wealth for Zimbabweans.
“We must also restore the collateral value of land, which has huge potential of financial leverage,” said the Prime Minister.
He added that institutions should be accountable to enhance corporate governance and those operating outside the law should be dealt with ruthlessly.
He said political discord was harmful to investment and Zimbabweans should work towards confidence-building leveraging on the country’s high investment opportunities.