Minister urges industrialists to be aggressive on exports

Industry and Commerce Minister, Nqobizitha Ndlovu, has urged industry players to be aggressive on exports while taking advantage of the government’s re-engagement drive with the international community.

Zimbabwe’s export base has been shrinking from the 1990s to date owing to economic failure and international isolation.

Very few Zimbabwean companies are exporting to countries in Southern Africa.

Addressing captains of industry and commerce at the ZimTrade Annual Exporters Conference in Bulawayo on Thursday, Ndlovu said it was high time industrialists became forceful on exports.

“I have consistently implored my constituency of industrialists to be aggressive in the export arena and take advantage of the government’s re-engagement drive,” said Ndlovu.

“Indeed we are witnessing a surge in exports by the manufacturing sector, notwithstanding the several challenges faced by all participants in the economy such as the recent drought Cyclone Idai and sanctions. Total manufacturing exports for the six months to June 2019 were US$126,5 million. This is a positive indicator considering the aforementioned challenges that industry has had to contend with during this period.”

Ndlovu said notable exporters in the industrial sector included Suzan General Trading (jewellery), Tregers (home and builders wares), Paramount Garments (textiles), Chloride Zimbabwe (batteries), Tongaat Huletts (sugar), Pro Plastics (pipes) and others.

“These efforts call upon us as government to provide the necessary support,” said Ndlovu.

“My Ministry is thus working on the development and strengthening of value chains, some of which cut across multiple sectors, that is, agriculture, mining, manufacturing and/or services. In this regard I want to encourage increased production of agricultural products such as maize, wheat, cotton and soya beans, all of which are essential raw materials for industry.”

The agricultural sector provides more than 60 percent of raw materials to the manufacturing sector.

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