Manufacturing sector grows 38 percent

Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter

ZIMBABWE’s manufacturing sector continues to grow on the back of sound Government policies with indications that 38 percent of companies in the sector managed to expand their operations in 2021.

This is contained in a recent survey by the Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) titled, “NDS1 Abridged Civil Society Monitoring Mechanism”, which attributed the growth to policies being implemented by Government.

“The economy managed to scale industrial capacity utilisation, recording 58 percent in 2021 thereby increasing the value of manufactured goods to the GDP owing to the ease in Covid-19 restrictions, productive efficiency, improved access to forex and improved agricultural output in the past season,” reads part of the report.

“Notable is that 38 percent of manufacturing firms expanded operations, upgraded their technology and had new investments in the second quarter thereby expanding their installed capacities.”

The coming in of the Second Republic has resulted in the growth of the economy as a result of the policies being pursued by Government that have seen the expansion of companies’ operations.

Last year the World Bank projected the country’s economy to have grown by approximately 5,8 percent on the backdrop of a good agricultural season and mining.

The IMF has projected this year’s growth to be 3,5 percent and welcomed the positive signs of economic recovery following two years of recession in 2019 and 2020.

The Bretton Woods institution also commended the Government for its swift response to the Covid-19 pandemic and for stronger efforts to address macro-economic imbalances while prioritising social support.

The establishment of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe foreign exchange auction system has improved foreign currency availability to industry thereby improving production capacity.

Availability of locally produced commodities in shops and supermarkets has improved due to the import substitution thrust adopted by Government

The survey also established that non-metal sector construction and cement manufacturing recorded the highest capacity utilisation.

“The least capacity utilisation was however, recorded in the clothing and footwear sector given the influx of cheap footwear and smuggled second hand clothing through the country’s porous borders.

“Key achievements in agro-processing include the commissioning of the fruit and vegetable processing plant in Mutoko and the Marula Processing and Value Addition Plant in Rutenga,” further reads the report.

ZIMCODD also recommended that Government should support value addition and beneficiation and create an enabling environment that promotes private sector growth.

“Essentially, budget implementation should support value addition and beneficiation programmes if NDS1 targets are to be met.

“The key lesson is that the private sector must take the lead in the industrialisation process and drive the value addition and beneficiation dream riding on proper policing.”

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