By Robert Tapfumaneyi
CABINET has approved the Roadmap to a US$8 billion Industrial and Commercial sector, which outlines the plan to raise the manufacturing and commercial sector contribution to GDP from the current US$7.16 billion to US$8.03 billion by 2023, through the sector’s diversified 94 sub-sectors.
In the in the interim, according to Cabinet, the sector contribution to GDP is projected to grow to US$7.4 billion in 2021 and US$7.7 billion in 2022.
“Investment and growth in the manufacturing and commercial sector will be spurred by the Ease of Doing Business reforms, and the implementation of the Special Economic Zones and the One Stop Shop concept,” Mangaliso Ndlovu, Tourism Minister told journalists during a post Cabinet media brief Tuesday.
“Furthermore, the country is already implementing the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap (2015-2063); and the COMESA Industrialisation Strategy (2017-2025), which strategies are anchored on value chain development and beneficiation.
“The National Development Strategy 1 (NDS-1) 2021-2025, the Zimbabwe National Industrial Development Policy (2019-2023) as well as the Local Content Strategy will also buttress the Roadmap.”
Ndlovu added, “The growth of the industrial and commercial sector will also be boosted by a number of investments scheduled for implementation under the Roadmap, since it is private-public-sector-led.
“These include twenty-three planned investments amounting to US$545 million in the food, drink and tobacco sub-sectors; US$32 million investments in the textiles, clothing and leather sub-sectors; and a total of eight projects with an investment value of US$1.5 billion in the metals and electricals sub-sectors.”
The Tourism Minister also said Industrial Development Corporation of Zimbabwe (IDCZ) would play a pivotal role in the achievement of the Roadmap through availing loan capital to bankable greenfield and brownfield industrial projects.
“Other finer details of the milestones to be achieved in each of the years of implementation will be availed annually,” he said.
In addition to the cited investments, the planned Kanyemba and Tugwi-Mukosi agricultural projects will also give impetus to rural industrialisation as well as complement the Devolution agenda.
Community Share Ownership Trusts (CSOTs) will continue to be used as vehicles for accelerated rural industrialisation in general.
“Emphasis will be given to corporate social responsibility in order to ensure that the Community Share Ownership Trusts are funded and operational,” Ndlovu said.
Meanwhile, the commercial sector is expected to grow into a US$5.2 billion sector compared to the current US$4.1 billion, on the backdrop of increased branch networks by the major wholesale and retail outlets.
In order to enhance productivity, key enablers shall be put in place, including the provision of water supply and the relevant infrastructure as well as investment in the development and manufacture of information communication technology products.
Government calls upon the financial services sector and other domestic investors to mobilise and avail the required investment capital to support the Roadmap and other development programmes.