Source: Emcoz to host Monetary Policy indaba | The Herald March 8, 2019
Africa Moyo Senior Business Reporter
THE Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe (Emcoz) is set to host an indaba that brings together Government, employers and market watchers, to discuss the market distortions that the 2019 Monetary Policy Statement sought to address.
Emcoz acting president Dr Israel Murefu told The Herald Business yesterday that following the introduction of the interbank foreign currency exchange rate by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), employers expected the formal and informal rates to “converge”, but that has not happened in over a fortnight.
“The essence of the indaba is to share notes and exchange ideas on how to navigate the current economic environment where the monetary authorities are working on currency reforms and liberalising the exchange rate while some market players out there are dollarising by charging in forex or charging the equivalent but at parallel market rates that are significantly above the exchange rate,” said Dr Murefu.
“Our expectations would have been convergence between the official exchange rate of 2,5 RTGS dollar to the real US dollar. While parallel market rates have somewhat fallen there is not yet convergence between the official and parallel market exchange rates.
“This means that some market players are exploiting arbitrage opportunities arising from the different exchange rates . . . it is expected that deliberations will help unravel the MPS and its impact in greater detail and what needs to be done to improve the operating environment for businesses.”
Employers say local companies are operating in a “volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environment”, and attempts to for survival have “not been easy”.
But Dr Murefu said businesses that cannot adapt will close, which unfortunately, has “serious negative ramifications on the economy as jobs will be lost and the number of former workers falling into poverty and penury increasing”.
“Clearly this is not desirable and therefore the conference is intended the share experiences and formulate possible policy strategies that it can suggest to the authorities for implementation so that the environment improves for both business and labour.
“Secondly, we want to share notes on how best to manage our businesses with a view to ensuring that they remain afloat and be able to sustain employment.
“The balancing of employer or employee interests is critical for business survival and retention of critical skills that are necessary to drive economic development and business sustainability,” said Dr Murefu.
The indaba, which is scheduled for Kariba from March 19 to 22, runs under the theme, “The leadership challenge in managing employee welfare”.
It is expected to draw from the experiences and knowledge of resource persons that are business leaders or renowned economists as well as human capital management practitioners, who will proffer various scenarios and possible solutions that participants may resolve to adopt in the form of recommendations that can then be shared by all stakeholders who should contribute towards the shaping of economic and labour policies for the country.
Presentations are expected from the Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Social Welfare, the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra), the National Social Security Authority (NSSA), the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera), Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and economic commentators including Dr Gift Mugano.
Dr Murefu said other issues to be deliberated on include taxation, the importance of innovation particularly as business goes digital in providing service to customers, investment and creation of employment opportunities, the energy conundrum especially fuel and power, the impending amendment to labour legislation, the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF), ease of doing business and the decent works agenda.
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