The Chronicle

Leonard Ncube and Enacy Mapakame, Chronicle Reporters

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has said that Government is on the correct path and will forge ahead with ongoing reforms as they will bear fruit.

Officially opening the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) 2019 annual congress in Victoria Falls yesterday, President Mnangagwa said his administration will deepen the ongoing reforms.

He said Government will not shy away from doing what is good for the country in line with the vision to attain an upper middle income economy by 2030.

“We shall continue to deepen the ongoing reform initiatives and not shy away from doing that which is good for our country and the generality of our people. To this end, the ongoing monetary reforms, fiscal consolidation, macro-economic stabilisation, stimulation of growth and the quest to create employment for our people will proceed with increased impetus.

“I call upon the business community to complement Government in the fulfilment of the reform objectives. In our respective spheres, we must take it upon ourselves to explain the new developments especially with regards to the recently gazetted SI 142 of 2019 to our people. Let’s reassure them that we are on the correct path and the measures we are instituting will bear fruit,” said President Mnangagwa.

He said sustainable growth remains the most critical way to expand opportunities, increase wealth, create decent jobs and achieve broad- based empowerment across every spectrum of the economy.

The Zimbabwe we want, highlighted President Mnangagwa, is everyone’s responsibility.

His sentiments come in the wake of mixed feelings from some sections of the society following the removal of the multi-currency basket announced by Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube, on Monday.

The reforms being instituted entail every citizen and leaders across all sectors to be solid, candid and principled, said President Mnangagwa.

 He reiterated the call on the need to shun corruption and unethical business practices in line with the Transitional Stabilisation Programme.

President Mnangagwa said sustainable economic development will only be achieved through hard, honest work hence industry should play a part in improving the lives of people.

“I urge you not to bury your heads in the sand but to take up the inherent opportunities of producing competitive products for this market. I exhort this congress to advance a common understanding of the tasks and specific milestones that must be undertaken by members within their various sectors towards attainment of an upper middle income economy,” he said.

“On our part, my administration will continue to support you as business and industry by putting in place comprehensive measures to revamp and enhance your competitiveness.” 

He challenged the private sector to take advantage of the ongoing engagement and re-engagement policy to enhance networks with other business chambers from across the world. 

The President said the private sector plays a key role in the resuscitation of the economy hence the need to keep in dialogue with Government. 

President Mnangagwa invited investors to invest in Special Economic Zones saying the issue of competitiveness remains high on the policy agenda in order to strengthen the country’s capacity to produce competitive goods and services.

He said the ZNCC congress is an important platform towards enhancing socio-economic dialogue to grow and develop the country.  To that end, he commended the ZNCC for inviting delegates from the Sadc and Comesa regions saying this gives impetus for successful market driven economies in the context of the Sadc Industrialisation Strategy and Africa Continental Free Trade Area which gives industry and business access to a single African market.

The President said now the collective effort should be on innovation, harnessing new technologies and ICTs to increase our product range to capture the growing regional and continental markets as well as penetrate the global value chain. 

President Mnangagwa said he was happy with the policy reform process. “Government has approved the Zimbabwe National Development Policy (ZNDP) and the Local Content Strategy which will guide the industrialisation agenda. I am optimistic that the policies will facilitate the promotion of sustainable, innovative and globally competitive industries while creating a vibrant self-sustaining and competitive industrialised economy through utilisation of local resources and import substitution,” said President Mnangagwa.

He said the National Competitive Commission will be capacitated to increase its cooperation with the industry while the Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency (Zida) is expected to expedite processing of investment to ensure ease of doing business, elimination of bureaucratic bottlenecks and facilitation of the modernisation and industrialisation of all sectors of the economy as well as Foreign Direct Investment.

The theme for the conference which ends today is: “Expanding Horizons: Dynamic Solutions for Economic Turnaround.”