By Tafadzwa Mupfururirwa
HARARE – Local manufacturing sector should improve the quality of products through greater product research and development while also investing in new and more efficient technologies, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said.
He made the remarks at the Buy Zimbabwe’s 10th anniversary Awards ceremony held in Harare on Friday.
“As we accelerate the modernisation and industrialisation of the economy, domestic producers are challenged to keep in sync with times to maintain competitiveness in the cut throat globalised operating environment. Hence, local manufacturers must improve the overall quality of products through greater product research and development,” President Mnangagwa said.
He also indicated that local companies must take advantage of several initiatives by his administration to reduce import dependency and boost local production to save the much needed foreign currency.
He said he has since directed the Minister of Industry and Commerce Sekai Nzenza to regularly publish a list of all imported products.
“…..It is my expectation that the manufacturing sector begins to incrementally knock off products from that said list through local production.
“It also helps our science and technology students at institutions of higher learning to apply themselves to produce those products,” President Mnangagwa said.
He indicated that the local manufacturing sector was vital in view of increasing competition from the region.
“Our manufacturing sector has shown an admirable capacity to grow as reflected in the manufacturing sector survey and the number of locally produced goods on our shelves.
“However, more still needs to be done by the sector to speedily achieve the targets set out in the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) for the realisation of Vision 2030.
“On its part, my government continues to implement responsive policies to create a conducive operating environment for local manufacturers. The NDS1 buttresses the value chain for the sustainable production and consumption of local products,” President Mnangagwa said.
He added: “This is complemented by the Zimbabwe National Industrial Development Policy and the Zimbabwe National Content Strategy, which focuses on structural transformation, value chain development and entrepreneurship development.
“These developments are expected to consistently facilitate rapid private sector-led economic growth. This is more so as we seek to achieve national self-sufficiency and to penetrate global markets, including the African Continental Free Trade Area, while maximising on the opportunities offered by SADC and COMESA.
“The prevailing stable and predictable macro-economic environment that we have created must be the impetus to increase production, productivity and of course, profitability across the industrial value chains.