SADC seeks strategy to boost industrialisation


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SADC leaders are this week expected to endorse a long-term industrialisation plan that could help Zimbabwe reverse the collapse of its productive sector and plug an influx of cheap imported goods.

Zimbabwe’s manufacturing sector is operating at about a third of capacity, according to a recent Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries survey and suffers from working capital constraints, antiquated equipment, high cost of doing business, raw material shortages and power and water shortages while those still producing face competition from cheap imports.

About 40 percent of the imported products are from South Africa while Zambia, once a market for Zimbabwe’s manufactured goods, is also emerging as a competitor for the local industrial sector, the survey found.

SADC Executive Secretary Stergomena Lawrence Tax told delegates attending a regional council of ministers meeting that they will deliberate on a strategy to re-orient regional integration and industrialization.

“The strategy is expected to be a living policy framework that will guide our region, in its quest for  socio-economic transformation through industrialisation, contributing to sustainable development, poverty reduction and thus improved livelihoods,” Law said.

If approved, the industrialisation plan will run from 2015-2020. The strategy, Law said is anchored on three pillars – industrialisation as champion of economic and technological transformation; competiveness as an active process to move from comparative advantage to competitive edges and regional integration.

Officiating at the same meeting, foreign affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said the industrialization policy was expected to reduce trade imbalances in the region.

“Without beneficiation and value addition to our products, trade liberalisation would only serve to perpetuate unsustainable trade imbalances,” he said.- The Source

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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