The implementation of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) Industrialisation Policy is expected to commence later this year. The policy was adopted last year. Comesa is now crafting the implementation strategies for the industrialisation policy adopted by the trade bloc’s 19 member states.
Comesa senior private sector development officer Innocent Makwiramiti told ZBCtv that once implemented, the policy would improve the regulatory environment and grant appropriate incentives for attracting labour intensive industries to address the unemployment challenge.
The policy also considers the need for improving other related policies such as fiscal and competition rules as well as laws on special economic zones. Last year, Comesa said the policy has approaches which focus on value addition of commodities as well as skills based industrialisation, among others.
It is believed that value addition will go a long way in empowering small enterprises leading to diversification of intra-Comesa exports, which in turn will spur intra-regional investment and job creation. The development of the Comesa Industrial Policy was in compliance with the decision of the 33rd Council of Ministers that met in Addis Ababa in March 2015.
Many Comesa countries still specialise in low-value added economic activities and sell primary products and natural resources while buying manufactured goods from developed countries.
Zimbabwe, which is one of the Comesa-member states, has come up with a five-year economic blue-print, Zim-Asset, to anchor the economy until 2015. In line with Zim-Asset, the government has emphasized on the need for local industries to focus on value addition and beneficiation of raw materials for Zimbabwe to bridge its trade deficit and reap the benefits of regional integration. — ZBCtv/Business Chronicle.