THE Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) annual congress begins in Victoria Falls today with discussions on industry competitiveness in the context of emerging economies expected to take centre stage.
Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha will officially open the congress this afternoon while Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa is expected to give a key note address.
ZNCC deputy president Davison Norupiri said competitiveness was critical considering the regional integration efforts among trading blocs such as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.
“Our congress this year will focus on competitiveness issues especially in the country’s emerging economies. Of late, we’ve noted that a huge space has been left by the so-called large corporates. For example, in the local dairy industry, Dairibord is operating at below 35 percent and what this means is that somebody has taken up the gap left by Dairibord and in this case it’s the emerging economies (small and flourishing firms) such as Alpha and Omega and Dendairy,” he said.
Norupiri said the business indaba would enable business executives to interact with policy makers and agree on how best the government could support the emerging economies.
He said the ZNCC congress would also focus on how to tackle corruption and sanctions that pose a threat to industry viability.
The three-day event runs under the theme: “Addressing competitiveness challenges in the emerging economy”.
World Bank and International Monetary Fund local representatives would be among the delegates at the event.
Officials from the Swedish Chamber of Commerce are also expected to grace the event and share experiences on their countries’ policies on business growth.
“We’ll also have officials from the Swedish Chamber of Commerce so that they share with us how they’re working with their government in coming up with policies that promote business growth. We also expect the Zimbabwe Investment Authority chairman Nigel Chanakira to speak at the congress on matters to do with investment in the country,” said Norupiri.
ZNCC will also honour businesses that have done exceptionally well in 2014 in propelling economic growth and prosperity in the country.
“We’ll also hold an awards ceremony to honour individuals and corporates for their outstanding contribution in promoting economic growth and prosperity in the country last year. Such companies, for example, will include banks that have done exceptionally well in terms of extending loans to businesses. We’re also honouring exporters,” he said.
More than 300 delegates are expected to participate in the deliberations, which end on Friday.