Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
Private businesses are critical in growing Zimbabwe’s economy and should exploit the Government’s moves to improve infrastructure,” the President has said.
Addressing the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) 2019 business review conference in Harare yesterday, President Mnangagwa said under the Second Republic, the Government has made dialogue one of the key tenets for success, adding that the engagement and re-engagement efforts currently underway were yielding positive results that the business community should exploit.
“We must all work hard and commit to become an upper middle income economy by 2030. Once again, the national agenda requires collaborative efforts from all stakeholders, partners and you the business sector, in particular,” said the President.
“(The) silo mentality and Superman type of approaches will only slow down our collective economic quest. We are stronger working together. I challenge ZNCC to tap into and leverage the vast opportunities availed by the policy of devolution which my Government is vigorously implementing. The modernisation of our key enablers across the economic spectrum is progressing well.
“Road, rail, Zimra ICT capabilities and border posts, among others, are all being attended to with vigour and renewed sense of urgency. Meanwhile, the engagement and re-engagement policy is gaining traction and momentum. In this respect, ZNCC must be there ready to competently engage with its counterparts from across the world who are eager to invest in Zimbabwe.”
President Mnangagwa challenged the business sector to be robust, vibrant and rejuvenate their organisation in line with global best practices and trends, always guided by national interest.
He said the business sector should be convinced in words and deeds that Zimbabwe was a fertile land for investment and then get the momentum to motivate international investors.
“Self-belief, confidence and national pride are integral to our economic success,” he said.
The President said Government was implementing a raft of measures to ensure the country’s viability and competitiveness.
He said it would be unfortunate if ZNCC failed to harness the vast investment opportunities that existed in the country.
The opportunities include power challenges, which could be exploited by shrewd businesspeople, and set up big businesses.
“It is my hope and trust that as captains of industry and commerce, you will rise to the occasion demanded by our current economic development epoch and develop a prosperous nation. Our future is in our hands. Let us build a Zimbabwe we want, brick by brick, stone upon stone, until Vision 2030 is a reality.
“The interactions, debates and information exchanges that will happen here must contribute in coming up with recommendations that will contribute towards economic growth, employment, poverty eradication and a better quality life for our people.”
ZNCC president Mr Tamuka Macheka said the chamber commended the recent jump in the World Bank ease of doing business rankings from 155 to 140 as a positive step, with the bigger picture focusing on being top 100 by the end of 2020.
“To achieve this, we implore the Government to facilitate the promulgation of the ZIDA (Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency) Bill which will enable the finalisation of the One-Stop Shop.” ZIDA will consolidate the agencies set up to promote investment into a single point of contact for investors.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said the ZIDA Bill was finalised on Wednesday evening.
He explained that Government had succeeded in controlling the fiscal deficit, adding that the period of austerity was over, and focus was now on increasing productivity and employment creation.