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Archives December 2023

‘Zim must prioritise industrialisation’

ZIMBABWE needs to give priority to industrialisation and diversifying its productive capacities to mitigate the risk of becoming dependent on imported commodities, a government official has said.

Speaking at the Competition and Tariff Commission annual trade tariff conference in Harare last week, investment promotion and export development deputy-director at the Industry and Commerce ministry Netai Magade said local production was key to economic growth.

Magade said the recent launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) presented the most immediate and significant opportunities for expanding the country’s export markets.

“It is crucial for the local industry to position itself to take full advantage of these opportunities here presented such as accessing duty-free exports in a market of about 1,3 billion people,” she said.

“This will not only bring in the much needed foreign currency, but also create employment opportunities for our citizens. To effectively participate in these trading blocs, Zimbabwe must, I repeat, must prioritise industrialisation and the diversification of its production capabilities.

“Without local production, we run the risk of becoming reliant on imported goods, which undermines our economic growth.”

Magade said the Zimbabwe national industrial policy played a vital role in guiding the industrialisation agenda with a focus on value addition and beneficiation.

She said the country had witnessed a 5,5% growth in manufactured export goods, reaching US$404 million in 2022.

These positive developments are encouraging considering the challenges faced by domestic industry, Magade said.

She said trade agreements and industrialisation were closely interconnected.

“Trade agreement open up the market for our domestic industries, leading to increased production, both local and foreign investment and job creation.

“In addition, preferential rates of duty applied under this agreement can make our domestic industry more competitive by importing cheaper inputs, thus boosting productivity.

“Furthermore, the trade agreement attracts foreign direct investment, bringing with them new capital, technology, and skills that support an unpitched industrialisation.”

While participating in trade agreements, Magade said it was 

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Minister talks tough on anti-competitive practices

GOVERNMENT is pushing to finalise legislation that empowers the Competition and Tariffs Commission (CTC) to investigate anti-competitive practices, a Cabinet minister has said.

For years, there has been increasing anti-competitive practices on the market owing to the downturn of the economy resulting in some better capitalised firms having a stranglehold on certain sectors.

Speaking at the 14th anniversary of the World Competition Day commemorations hosted by CTC, Industry and Commerce minister Sithembiso Nyoni said the government wanted to equip the commission.

“Competition cannot thrive without a robust legal framework in place to regulate and monitor market behaviour to ensure compliance,” Nyoni said, in a speech read on her behalf by the ministry’s chief director, Florence Makombe.

“Our government is committed to strengthening the capacity of our competition authority, equipping it with the necessary tools and resources to investigate and prosecute anti-competitive practices effectively.”

She said the ministry was working to finalise the Competition Amendment Bill to equip CTC with the necessary tools and resources to investigate and prosecute anti-competitive practices effectively.

The amendment will help in governing and safeguarding against monopolies, cartels and other forms of anti-competitive behaviour prevailing on the market.

It will also ensure that no single entity has unwarranted control over a particular industry or market segment, thereby preventing the abuse of market power.

“As the minister responsible for Industry and Commerce, it is my duty to ensure a fair and competitive marketplace that benefits both businesses and consumers is created in our country. My ministry is committed to upholding and strengthening competition law to ensure a level playing field for all businesses,” Nyoni added.

She said it would be important to collaborate with other countries to address issues such as price-fixing, abuse of dominance and unfair business practices.

“We will continue to engage with our international counterparts to share best practices and co-ordinate efforts in combating anti-competitive behaviour. Competition law serves as a safeguard against monopolies, cartels and other forms of anti-competitive behaviour,” Nyoni said.

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