NCC seeks to identify competitiveness gaps National competitiveness refers to a country’s ability to sustain and increase its share of international markets and at the same time its capacity to improve its people’s quality of life

Business Reporter

The National Competitiveness Commission (NCC) is developing the Zimbabwe Competitiveness Report (ZCR) to identify critical competitiveness gaps and productivity issues hindering economic growth.

The comprehensive report will also provide actionable policy recommendations aligned with the objectives of the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), the commission said.

The ZCR will serve as a valuable platform for participants to reflect on recent progress, share insights into the current economic landscape, and explore innovative approaches to enhance national productivity and competitiveness, fostering sustainable development for the future.

Zimbabwe faces a multitude of challenges that hinder its competitiveness and economic growth.

These challenges can be broadly categorised into economic, institutional, and infrastructure-related factors.

For instance, Zimbabwe’s power generation capacity is insufficient to meet the needs of its growing economy. Frequent power outages are disrupting business operations and discourage investment.

Some of the transport infrastructure such as roads and railways, is in a dilapidated state. This hinders the movement of goods and services, increasing transportation costs and reducing competitiveness.

“In this regard, the commission is undertaking this critical survey to inform the 2023 report, as well as policy proposals and strategies to enhance the country’s competitiveness.

“Therefore, the report (will) provide evidence-based research, policy, and regulatory analysis to advise on measures that enhance national productivity and global competitiveness.”

The NCC is a statutory body established by an Act of Parliament and falls under the purview of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

The commission’s terms of reference, as stipulated in the Act, explicitly require it to produce an annual benchmarked National Competitiveness Report in consultation with relevant stakeholders across key sectors of the economy. This is in line with the objectives of the NDS 1, of a new development trajectory to achieve the national vision of an Upper Middle-Income Society by 2030, for an empowered and prosperous Zimbabwe.

This requires economic transformation that promotes competitiveness to achieve and sustain economic growth and equal opportunities.

“Strong growth is key for sustainable development, and there is need to address systemic structural changes that can boost investment, enhance competitiveness, strengthen risk resilience and harness opportunities arising from technology adoption in all sectors of the economy,” said NCC.

Zimbabwe ratified the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA agreement on April 24, 2019, becoming one of the earliest nations to embrace the deal.

The AfCFTA is a landmark agreement that aims to create a single market for goods and services across the African continent, with the potential to boost trade, investment, and economic growth.

However, Zimbabwe’s competitiveness challenges have implications for its participation in the (AfCFTA), which aims to create a single market for goods and services across Africa.

These challenges could hinder Zimbabwe’s ability to fully capitalise on the opportunities presented by the AfCFTA.

 

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