The 2014 Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries’ annual congress is underway with business leaders facing a herculean task of trying to revive the country’s ailing manufacturing sector.
The congress is expected to come up with recommendations that will shape the future of the economy and restore industry performance and growth to its peak levels.
Those who addressed the congress include Industry Minister, Mike Bimha, central bank chief John Mangudya and some captains of industry.
Former CZI president Callisto Jokonya said the manufacturing sector has many challenges, especially the liquidity crunch.
Zimbabwe’s fiscal space is dwindling with the growing informalisation of the economy coupled with continuous de-industrialisation while the banking sector remains shaky.
Industrial capacity utilisation is seen averaging between 27 and 29% by year end with estimates it stood at 33% in the first half of the year, while non-performing loans are projected to average 18,5% from the current 16% by end of year.
CZI national president Charles Msipa challenged government to come up with concrete measures to address liquidity challenges, capacity utilisation and funding for the government’s economic blue print, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Social and Economic Transformation (ZIMASSET).
But government has been struggling to find money to fund the $27 billion dollar ZIMASSET. Traditional allies like China have refused to commit themselves to the blueprint. This has prompted Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa and Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa to travel to Moscow to court investors.