Source: Reforms woo investors: ED | The Herald May 28, 2019
Patrick Chitumba Midlands Bureau Chief
President Mnangagwa said the Government will continue to implement comprehensive economic reforms to ensure that Zimbabwe is a safe, favourable and competitive investment destination with a thriving and open economy.
Officially commissioning the US$10 million brick and tile manufacturing plant at Sino Zimbabwe Cement Company (SZCC) on the outskirts of Gweru and in a speech read on his behalf by the Minister of Industry and Commerce Nqobizitha Ndlovu, President Mnangagwa said his Government will continue working with the private sector and other stakeholders for the growth and development of the local industry.
The President said the project further demonstrates the confidence the investors have in the Second Republic and highlights to the world that Zimbabwe is indeed open for business.
“It is my pleasure and singular honour to be here at this momentous occasion to officially open Sino Brick Company Zimbabwe (Private) Limited, a joint venture between Sino Zimbabwe Cement Company and the Mengzhou Lianguan Plastic Company. I am optimistic that the country’s infrastructure development programme which includes construction of brick and mortar facilities will benefit from this new factory. Congratulations for this achievement,” he said.
“My Government will continue to implement comprehensive economic reforms towards ensuring that Zimbabwe is a safe, favourable and competitive investment destination, with a thriving and open economy. We will continue to work with the private sector and other stakeholders for the growth and development of our local industry.”
“Allow me to ensure Sino Zimbabwe that my Government stands ready to render any support in all its endeavours to ensure the success of this project.
“Meanwhile, I invite more investors both local and foreign to join us in this journey of progress and usher in a new wave of prosperity for the people of Zimbabwe,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said the brick manufacturing company will further benefit Zimbabwe through import substitution as the type of bricks produced is being imported.
“In addition, the production of bricks at such a massive scale will improve the availability of affordable and quality bricks for domestic consumers thus complementing Government initiatives to ensure access to housing for all. I encourage the company to take advantage of the country’s geographical and land-linked position which is a gateway into SADC and COMESA as well as the African Continental Free Trade Africa markets for export of excess bricks. This will enhance regional trade and generate much needed foreign currency for both the company and the country,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said Sino Zimbabwe’s illustrious history in the country is symbolic of the great relationship between the Zimbabwean and Chinese Government which has now been elevated to comprehensive strategic partnership.
“This new investment by Sino Zimbabwe embodies the strategic partnership between our two countries. We remain thankful to the Chinese government for partnering with us as we seek to rebuild, revitalise and grow our economy.
“This project further demonstrates the confidence the investors have in the Second Republic and highlights to the world that Zimbabwe is indeed open for business,” he said.
Zimbabwe, President Mnangagwa said, is in transition and one of the priority focus is on value addition and beneficiation. He, however, said success in this endeavour cannot be accomplished by the Government alone, but rather, it requires a collaborative multi-stakeholder approach to tackle economic fragility, unemployment and poverty.
“Such an approach is on display here as this project has materialised through the integrated efforts of many stakeholders from both the private and public sectors.
“Our economic reform agenda also entails devolution in order to decentralise Government to ensure that there is industrial production throughout the country. It is therefore pleasing to see large industrial projects such as this one sprouting in this part of the country.”
“It is commendable that the project has adopted the advanced modern tunnel kiln brick making technology. This resonates with our thrust to modernise and industrialise our economy as well as integrate global best practice in production processes through technology transfer,” said the President.
President Mnangagwa said it is equally pleasing that the plant is environmentally friendly as its main raw material is a waste product from limestone quarries that are mined during the production of cement at the adjacent factory.
“Your innovation in this regard is indeed commendable,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said the Midlands province has traditionally been the hub of industrial activity for the economy adding that the investment by Sino Zimbabwe Brick Company enables the province to buttress that status.
“The province hosts a myriad of economic activities across all sectors including platinum, gold, chrome, asbestos and coal mining, crop, livestock and dairy farming as well as the manufacturing of diverse products such as beverages, crude tar, shoes, cement, fertilisers and explosives among others. Multi sectoral synergies between these activities yield multiple economic opportunities, both upstream and downstream and it is this pleasing to see Sino Zimbabwe tapping into these opportunities,” he said.
The commissioning of the brick and tile manufacturing plant comes barely two weeks after President Mnangagwa commissioned $62 million smelter at Unki Mine.