Zimbabwean president urges officials to adopt new culture for economic growth

Wararka Maanta

Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has urged public officials to adopt a new culture of facilitating economic growth in the country, warning that incompetent people will not be tolerated in the new political dispensation.

Officially opening the 59th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Zimbabwe’s second city, Mnangagwa said the officials should change their work ethic to facilitate both domestic and foreign investment and the ease of doing business.

“My government will not tolerate any form of public lethargy, undue delays, bottlenecks, bribery and corruption. Those that will be impediments in the economic growth agenda will fall by the wayside.

“Residual resistance of any kind is unacceptable. The mentality of them and us must end. Sustainable economic growth will be achieved by us together – government, the private sector and foreign investors alike,” he said.

The fair began on April 24 with focus on sustainable industrial development and running under the theme “Sustainable Industrial Development – Inclusive, Competitive, Collaborative”.

Chinese companies, together with others from countries such as Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Brazil, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Pakistan, Russia, Turkey and Zambia, are exhibiting at the fair which ends Saturday.

Mnangagwa also reiterated that Zimbabwe was safe for business and that private property rights would be protected.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we continue to invite both domestic and foreign investors to tap into the diverse opportunities offered in Special Economic Zones and open economy in general,” he said.

He added that following his recent visit to China, the establishment of a tourism and financial economic zone in the premier resort town of Victoria Falls would be speeded up.

A Chinese multinational group is expected to build a multi-billion-dollar special economic zone in the town.

Mnangagwa also called for viable industrialization strategies which he said were fundamental for value addition and beneficiation of natural and home-grown resources.

“I therefore exhort all players in industry and commerce to produce quality goods, to increase capacity utilization, think outside the box and come up with solutions that reduce production costs and enhance product competitiveness,” he said.

Industry must also adopt viable policies and business strategies that foster export-led growth, he added.

He said to ease foreign currency and liquidity challenges bedeviling the country, industry and commerce should be export oriented.

[Source: Xinhua]