Zimbabwe Industries not ready for Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agenda 2063 –CZI

 Zimbabwe Industries not ready for Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agenda 2063 –CZI

Zimbabwe Industries not ready for Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agenda 2063 –CZI.

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Zimbabwe’s manufacturing sector is presently, gravely constrained to take full advantage of the opportunities to be created by Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) trading block.

The industry representative body the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) can review in its latest Quarterly Business and Economic Intelligence Report.

The business membership organizations said the local industry has gone through deindustrialization, for the past two decades leading to the decline in local value chains and limited retooling and this puts it on the Blackfoot when it comes to its readiness to participate fully under AfCFTA.

CZI in a recent review reports said as things stand now, Zimbabwe, and the industry, in particular, are not ready to take advantage of the AfCFTA.

“Given years of deindustrialization, decline in local value chains and limited retooling, the local industry is constrained to take full advantage of the AfCFTA,” reads part of CZI’s 2021 first-quarter business survey”. CZI review

CZI  reviewed that considering current capacity utilization, which was recorded at 47 percent in 2020 is significantly low hence firms would not be able to enjoy economies of scale that reduce per unit cost of production to render exports price competitive.

Further, CZI sight the high cost of doing business environment emanating from over regulation, heavy taxation, complex import and export procedures, utility and infrastructure deficiencies further constrain AfCFTA readiness for business.

“Industry needs to come up with long term export strategies that take the AfCFTA into consideration such as growing export markets and retooling /upgrading production processes to become efficient and be able to competitively compete with the rest of the continent”. The industry representative body said.

CZI said steps will have to be taken at national level to develop local value chains if local industry is to be competitive under AfCFTA.

“The country also needs to develop its local value chains to ensure that most of the raw materials needed for industry are sourced locally and not rely on importation from countries that would also be competitors.”CZI added

CZI said the Government must negotiate for more time in AfCFTA for liberalization to allow for domestic industry to retool and upgrade production processes.

On its part, industry must leverage on the NDS1, which priorities soyabean, fertilizers, cotton, sugar cane, dairy sector and leather, under the agro-value chains.

The private sector is expected to pursue initiatives to develop local value chains and integrate them into existing regional value chains in SADC.

 CZI suggested that Zimbabwe Industries must invest in export market research and development outside the SADC region.

Tafadzwa William Mutsika

Tafadzwa Mutsika is an award-winning print, broadcast, and online journalist with more than 10 years of experience in the field. Tafadzwa has experience in financial reporting and Public relations since 2010. He is also a part-time lecturer in journalism and media studies. Possess excellent communication and presentation skills. Areas of Interest: Mining, energy, tax law, insurance, and corporate governance. Hobbies include -painting and sculpture.

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