Government has prioritised implementation of key projects such as the National Railways of Zimbabwe as these are key enablers in the economic turnaround of the country, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.
Speaking at the 5th CEO Africa Roundtable Conference in Victoria Falls last week, President Mnangagwa said such strategic projects are also critical ingredients in attracting domestic and foreign direct investment (FDI).
Some of the key projects that were also highlighted by President Mnangagwa include the refurbishment and dualisation of the country’s major roads and power generation.
President Mnangagwa took the opportunity to invite local companies to be in the forefront of increasing and expanding their operations as this demonstrates confidence in the country’s potential and vision for the future.
He encouraged business to partner foreign partners to harness capital, technology and expertise.
“I also challenge local businesses to initiate Joint Ventures and Private Public Partnerships (PPPs) with foreign partners.
“Let us equally leverage on our renowned human capital skills and competences to produce goods and services which are proudly Zimbabwean for broader global markets.
President Mnangagwa said industry and commerce must take a leading role in easing the doing of business and enhance competitiveness through innovative ICT solutions that simplify daily management and administrative tasks.
To achieve this, he said, all sectors of the economy should prioritise automation and mechanisation to improve capacity utilisation and production efficiencies.
“ICT solutions should, thus cascade down to all sectors such as mining and agriculture which are the anchors of our economy.
“We should therefore modernise and mechanise our agriculture, manufacturing, mining, tourism, transport and financial services sectors among others to fully maximise the country’s productive potential.
President Mnangagwa challenged industry to support tech-innovation in the country by availing funding sponsorship to young innovators who can develop home grown ICT solutions.
He also talked about the Special Economic Zones and said a legal framework, which was drawn from a number of countries who effectively implemented SEZs as strategies to grow their economies, had been put in place.
He said captains of industry and commerce must be proactive and explore the forward and backward business linkages and prospects in the SEZs.
“It is therefore, in your interest to shift your horizons and invest in these Zones to enjoy the associated benefits and incentives.
He also said there was need for business to diversify their businesses and spread their operations to unconventional locations.
This approach, he said, will have the cumulative effect of a modern provincial and rural industry system resulting in jobs, broad based empowerment and improved quality of lives and incomes among provincial and rural communities.
He said the approach will lead to grassroots communities having access to more utilities such as energy, ICT and other services.
President Mnangagwa said business must leverage on favourable natural endowments, climate, strategic geographical location and magnificent tourism sites to be the “Pride of Africa.”
“Our Majestic Victoria Falls and other tourist attractions should be embellished with state of the art infrastructure such as modern hotels, villas, cultural centres among others.
He said if these are well packaged, they will make the destination more competitive and attractive for both business and leisure.
He reiterated the fact that there is now need for the country to integrate into the main streams of global trade.
“In accord with the tenets of the SADC Industrialisation Strategy which gives importance to technological and economic transformation of the region through industrialisation, modernisation, skills development, science and technology, financial strengthening and deeper regional integration, it is imperative therefore to reposition Zimbabwe to effectively contribute to both the regional and global economy.
He added that integration will in –turn result in business growth by aligning the financial sector to the needs of the productive sector, adoption of new technologies and development of the knowledge based industries as well as promoting activities that can be undertaken by SMEs.
“For the realisation of the above my Government is committed to ensure that our policies, regulations and actions do not impede business through unnecessary bureaucracy, red tape, bottlenecks delays and high costs.