SPECIAL adviser to the President, Christopher Mutsvangwa has called for the immediate scrapping off of Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016, as one of the tangible measures to reduce the cost of food and goods.
BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
Mutsvangwa was speaking at a breakfast meeting held by the Embassy of India in collaboration with the Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development ministry in Harare yesterday.
“I do not want to be emotive, if we want to make progress scratch section 64 (Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016), lower the cost of food to the consumers by importing as much from South Africa, open up Belmount and Graniteside as Special Economic Zones, get new equipment, get everyone employed, start exporting Nike quality shoes to the global market from Zimbabwe (for an example), and you will never be poor again in Zimbabwe,” he said.
He said improving the country’s stature involved improving bilateral ties such as reducing the cost of goods in the country and allowing for cheaper goods to come into the country.
“Do you know what our biggest export is where we cannot be doubted? Brains. All Zimbabweans who leave this country are not under the United Nations Commission for Refugees, they support themselves in foreign countries,” Mutsvangwa said.
“So, what do you do if you have got a brain power like that? Get investment at home, make them produce world class goods for the global market then you never have any problems with foreign currency.”
Mutsvangwa was speaking in reference to improving bilateral ties with other fast-growing economies, like India, who have surged in recent years and may soon overtake other economic powerhouses such as Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Improving those ties involves putting policies that attract and allow manufacturers to seek out investment from other countries.
For example, despite India availing a $10 billion line of credit to Africa in 2015, Indian ambassador to Zimbabwe Rungsung Masakui said he has only received one project proposal from Zimbabwe.
“This fund ($10 billion line of credit), unfortunately, remains under-utilised for some reason (which I would like to discuss with the Honourable Ministers) which can be easily corrected. In the last year, I have been pushing for viable project proposals. Till now, I have received one and that is already under review by the government of India,” he said.
He said considering the new trajectory of the country, businesses needed to tap into India’s growing global economic footprint.