INDUSTRY and Commerce Deputy Minister, Raj Modi, has called on Zimbabweans across the divide to embrace “hard work” for the country to achieve the desired upper middle-income economy status by 2030.
While the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa was working flat out to reform the governance system and enhance the ease of doing business, he said only hard work by every citizen would determine the success of the economic transformation agenda.
“The Second Republic requires hard work to achieve the upper middle-income status by 2030,” said the Deputy Minister while addressing stakeholders during a business gathering organised by Sound Prosperity Economic Forum in Bulawayo last Friday.
He said since November 2017, the new dispensation led by President Mnangagwa was rolling out a comprehensive reform drive meant to entice both domestic and foreign investment so as to expand the job market.
The interventions are guided by the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP), a short term Government developmental blue-print covering the period 2018 to 2020, which feeds into the broader Vision 2030.
Dep Min Modi said his ministry for instance, has already crafted the Zimbabwe National Industrial Development Policy (2019-2023), which seeks to foster innovation, investment and export-led industrial transformation.
The policy is inspired by the broader regional vision as expressed in the Sadc, Comesa and African Union developmental thrusts.
“It is critical, therefore, to note that rapid industrialisation is key to promoting domestic growth and regional integration,” said the Deputy Minister.
As such, he said the policy thrust was there to foster inclusive national industrialisation hence Government was putting in place measures to capacitate businesses including small to medium enterprises to produce goods in their respective areas outside major cities.
The new business model thus desires to make Zimbabwean businesses globally competitive through increased value addition and beneficiation, import substitution, local content strategy and export development, he said.
Dep Min Modi also spoke about the significance of the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) policy, which is envisaged to assist the country in attracting more foreign direct investment. In view of this, he said, Zimbabwe needs to scale up agricultural production as the sector has a huge bearing on the viability of the manufacturing industry.
Guided by the “Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra, Dep Min Modi also said the country was open for partnerships with international players in implementing several investment projects in different sectors of the economy.
During the meeting, different panelists emphasised the need to revive Bulawayo industries, channel more funding towards start-up businesses and increase agricultural production.
The need to scale up domestic industrialisation comes at a time when Zimbabwe is battling a trade deficit due to overreliance on imports following the demise of local industries in recent years.