Pamela Shumba, Senior Business Reporter
GOVERNMENT has set a 10 percent target on merchandise export growth per annum by positioning the industrial sector towards export development in value added products.
Industry and Commerce Deputy Minister Raj Modi said this while addressing delegates at the Mine Entra Conference in Bulawayo last Thursday. He explained that export led growth was at the heart of strategic objectives under the Zimbabwe National Industrial Development Policy (ZNIDP).
“The country’s national vision of being an upper middle income economy by 2030 is now well entrenched in all our strategies, and more so in my ministry’s programmes.
“Alongside this vision, and in line with the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP 2018-2020) which seeks to stabilise and accelerate economic growth in the country, my ministry is working towards the attainment of a technologically diversified industry by 2030,” said Deputy Minister Modi.
To achieve the vision, he said, his ministry has developed a new industrial policy with a vision to establish a technologically advanced, competitive and diversified industry by 2030.
“One of the strategic objectives of the policy is to attain merchandise export growth rate of 10 percent per annum by positioning industrial sector towards export development in value added products,” said Deputy Minister Modi.
He added that development and strengthening of industrial value chains was one of the key pillars of the policy where sector specific value chain development strategies would be implemented to create competitive economic linkages.
The Deputy Minister explained the pillars and strategies, which will make the policy create an enabling environment for the growth of the mining sector.
“The first pillar is mineral beneficiation and value addition. The ZNIDP acknowledges that Zimbabwe is richly endowed with a variety of mineral resources, which open new opportunities for beneficiation and value addition.
“Industries such as jewellery making and lithium production offer better prospects for the growth of the economy,” said the Deputy Minister.
He said the major activities to be undertaken by his ministry under this pillar include ensuring exploration, extraction and beneficiation of existing minerals in the country as well as strengthening the mineral sector through adoption of best global practices and linkages with the manufacturing sector.
Other pillars include export led industrialisation, industrial parks, innovation hubs and Special Economic Zones (SEZs).
Major activities under the industrial parks pillar include stimulating investment by both locals and foreign investors, encouraging participation of SMEs, women and youth and ensuring strong collaboration between institutions of higher learning and the private sector within the industrial parks.
“As you may be aware, Government, through the Office of the President and Cabinet is spearheading the process of doing reforms aimed at making the business environment conducive and attractive to investors,” said Dep Min Modi.
“This is being done through removing unnecessary legislative bottlenecks, improving efficiency and timelines in the approval of licensing and permits.” — @pamelashumba1