By Tatenda Mujeyi
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Retired Lieutenant General Dr. Sibusiso Moyo has called for calmness and appraisal of government efforts to address economic challenges at an exporters’ breakfast workshop held in Harare.
The minister’s remarks came following mutually shared calls by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) and ZimTrade on how the economic challenges were hampering exporters.
The foreign currency challenges that followed last month’s institution of SI142 were an impediment to business while the Minister noted the call to consider the gains being realised following the move.
“The basis of trade is production, and it is imperative to note that the persistent foreign currency challenge have seen a negative growth trajectory. While the world has is calling for the 4th Industrialisation Revolution, as Zimbabwe we are still at the second indiustrial revolution stage,” CZI President Eng. Henry Ruzvidzo said.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Rtd Sibusiso Moyo was however of the view that: “Government has had to restructure the foreign currency market and hence the establishment of the interbank market. It is important to note that the move has allowed for market forces to determine rates. In this vein, transparency has been enhanced since government no longer has the determining powers on currency pricing it used to have.”
Power challenges where viewed as a major challenge that was hindering export growth, with the Minister referring the challenges to nature and government’s commitment to address the challenges.
“Power and energy challenges have been a major impediment in the growth of the export market and there is need to make amends,” Eng. Ruzvidzo said.
The power and fuel situation has been a challenge in guaranteeing that producers can fully meet the needs of the export market and we hope that government will aid in the solving this challenge that is affecting the whole export value line,” ZNCC President, Tamuka Macheka said.
In response Minister Moyo emphasised that, “No one had contemplated that Lake Kariba would be at 23 % and in turn generating just above 300MW of power against a capacity of above 1000MW. We hope that with the measures we are implementing we will soon meet the required responses to these challenges.”
The Minister further called on the whole Zimbabwean population to desist from the common rhetoric of blaming politicians as the challenges called for every Zimbabwean’s contribution.
The meeting was aimed at generating understanding on the challenges that the exporters were facing and how redress mechanisms could be strategised.
“The breakfast meeting is aimed at creating a platform from which dialogue between government, trade bodies and exporters can interface so as to strategise towards improving the eases of doing export business,” ZimTrade CEO Allan Tawanda Majuru said.
Minister Moyo emphasised his commitment to address the challenges and called upon interest parties to create a committee that could reach him with the necessary policy shifts that he was ready to second to cabinet.