The introduction of a mono-currency system is set to boost the competitiveness of the country’s manufacturing sector, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.
Zimbabwe, on June 24 reintroduced the local currency which had been ditched for a multicurrency basket in February 2009 after inflation had rendered the Zimbabwe dollar worthless.
While giving his state of the nation address and officially opening the second session of the ninth Parliament, Mnangagwa said the manufacturing sector is offering immense growth opportunities through backward and forward production linkages.
“I am pleased to note that some companies are gradually increasing their production and exports. The government is scaling up its support to the sector through duty exemptions on raw materials and capital equipment, tax breaks and holidays for priority projects and other import management measures,” he said.
“This thrust is anchored on the implementation of the recently adopted Zimbabwe National Industrial Development Policy and Local Content Strategy to promote trade and exports.”
He said to compliment the progress in the manufacturing sector, the government is accelerating the operationalisation of the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA).
He noted that Phase Two of the Ease of Doing Business Reform Programme has already been implemented.
Mnangagwa cited that these developments led the nation to be recognised by the World Bank as having made considerable regulatory improvements in five areas measured on the ease and cost of doing business.
He added that as such the modernisation of the Beitbridge Border Post and bilateral negotiations on the establishment of One-Stop Border Posts in Victoria Falls and Beitbridge are already ongoing.
“The introduction of smart technologies to speed up freight clearance at our border ports of entry will be speeded up. As Zimbabwe, we continue to play our part in advancing the SADC, COMESA and African Union economic development agenda,” said the president.
Mnangagwa also noted that the government has partnered with the private sector to maximise benefits from the operationalisation of African Continental Free Trade Area.
“Our businesses are urged to take advantage of the scope that exists from Zimbabwe becoming a transport and logistics hub. This follows the commissioning of the Zimbabwe Walvis Bay Dry Port in Namibia, coupled with other confirmed bilateral investments,” he said.
President Mnangagwa further stated that the government secured a US$2,7 million grant from India to upgrade eleven existing technology and common facility centre’s across the country to assist Our SMEs with suitable work spaces.
He said the Zimbabwe Women’s Micro Finance Bank is also forging ahead with availing loans to its clients across the country to enable women in business to carry out their business projects.