Conrad Mwanawashe Business Reporter
MANUFACTURERS gather in Gweru from today to brainstorm on ways to unlock competitiveness at the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries annual congress. The CZI congress will run until Friday under the theme “Unlocking Manufacturing Competitiveness”. The manufacturers are expected to deliberate on such topics as: addressing challenges of doing business in Zimbabwe, beneficiation opportunities, value chain initiatives, human capital development for unlocking business competitiveness and international re-engagement – key to unlocking foreign direct investment.
Government is in the process of addressing the doing business environment and has so far identified cost drivers.
Some of the speakers from industry include CZI president Mr Busisa Moyo, Mr Jeremy Youmans, the Zimbabwe Clothing Manufacturers’ Association president, among others.
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa will lead the Government delegation which will include several Cabinet ministers.
Among them Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha; Finance and Economic Devlopment Minister Patrick Chinamasa; Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Dr Obert Mpofu; Energy and Power Development Minister Dr Samuel Undenge; Public Service, Labour ad Social Welfare Minister Prisca Mupfumira; and Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made.
Minister of Mines and Mining Development Walter Chidhakwa; Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri; Economic Planning Minister Simon Khaya Moyo; Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Minister Christopher Mushohwe; and Lands and Rural Resettlement Minister Dr Douglas Mombeshora will also be at the congress.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mangudya is also expected to speak at the industry’s annual premier event. Industry has said Zimbabwe should address the cost structure and reform labour laws among other critical issues to ensure businesses survive.
The congress is one of the most important events on the CZI calendar as well as Zimbabwe’s economic calendar. Delegates get to meet the business fraternity from across the country.
The issues discussed are of topical interest to business and Government as the subjects cover a wide spectrum affecting the doing business environment.
Deliberations at the congress will take a dual approach, with one focusing on how companies can improve internal efficiencies and the development of value chains.
The value chain approach looks at the whole spectrum from raw materials right through to the finished product.
For instance, instead of just looking at what is happening in the issues relating to cooking oil, including the volume of imported cooking oil; the value chain for cooking oil would look at the production of soya beans, the conditions around the production of soyabeans and cotton seed, the extraction of the oil, processing into the final product.