Zimbabwe is scaling up its domestic value chain development drive as a key to robust economic transformation and trade, Industry and Commerce Permanent Secretary, Mavis Sibanda has said.
In a speech read on her behalf by Denford Nhema, a senior director in the ministry of industry and commerce, during a recent value chain review workshop in Bulawayo, Sibanda said government was prioritising investments in value addition and production of sophisticated manufactured products, taking advantage of the country’s endowments and innovations from universities.
“The National Development Strategy (NDS1) prioritises value chain development where 10 priority value chains have been identified for industrial growth and structural transformation,” she said.
Sibanda said the private sector had already embraced the transformative drive with the Government chipping in through launching two revolving funds targeting the retooling of industry and the tourism sectors.
The targeted value chains include, fertiliser, pharmaceuticals, cotton, sugar, leather, metal casting, soya bean and dairy value chain.
“I call upon you all our stakeholders to draw inspiration from the Asian manufacturing sectors that rose from challenging circumstances and low productivity, to become the industrial shining stars that they are today.
“As a nation, we aspire to achieve similar transformation, leveraging on our resources, especially our people, we would like to see our industry participate significantly in regional value chains: in Comesa, Sadc, AfCFTA, and also in the global context,” she said.
Sibanda hailed regional bodies for developing policies, strategies and programmes that coherently speak from the same perspective of building strong domestic and regional value chains.
Although other value chain representatives expressed concern over the operating environment which has seen competition from imported products, shortage of finance and unfavourable tax regimes among others, Sibanda assured that the development drive will target all sectors and leave no stone unturned.
“The government will find ways of improving outputs from the agricultural sector and improve all products to mkae sure that there is no competiition from imported products,” she said.