via Global rankings set tone for investments: Mnangagwa – NewsDay October 30, 2015
Government says global rankings must be taken with the utmost seriousness as they have a direct impact on investment into different economic sectors.
BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
This comes as government is rushing to institute a host of strategies and measures to encourage an economic growth rate of 7% and improve its competitiveness.
Speaking at the launch of the first edition of the Zimbabwe National Competitiveness Report (ZNCR) in Harare yesterday, Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the rankings had a bearing on attracting investors into the country.
“Most investors rely on such reports in making decisions on investment destinations. This explains our current efforts as evident from the measures and strategies which we are implementing to ensure that we improve on our ranking,” Mnangagwa said.
“The ZNCR provides historic benchmarking for the first time and can go with the consensus around achieving Zimbabwe’s prosperity. This is critical in areas which need urgent intervention to enable Zimbabwe’s economic exploits to achieve the robust economic growth target of 7% per annum in the national blueprint ZimAsset.”
In the Global Competitiveness Report (GCI) 2015-2016, Zimbabwe ranks 125 out of 140 countries, a ranking that slipped from 124 from the 2014-2015 report.
The ZNCR was introduced as the first of an annual report meant to complement the new National Competiveness Commission set up by the Industry and Commerce ministry to try change or create a policy more conducive for investment.
On the same GCI report 2015- 2016, Zimbabwe was 120 in basic requirements, 134 on efficiency enhancers and 130 on innovation and sophistication factors.
“Government urges companies to value-add on our raw materials to produce quality products that match international standards. Currently, our products are not competitive,” Mnagagwa said.
“(This is) due to the following factors: high cost of finance, outdated infrastructure, high labour costs, the firming up of the United Stated dollar against other currencies and the multiplicities of business licences and levies which we must attend too.”
Other countries that have reports like the ZNCR on national competitiveness include Senegal, Egypt, Armenia and Jordan, to name a few.
Also speaking at the launch was Policy Co-ordination and Promotion of Socio-Economic Ventures minister in the Office of the President, Simon Khaya Moyo, who said government was also implementing other projects to improve the business climate.
“The government is currently co-ordinating the implementation of similar projects like the ZNCR so as to improve our business climate. Policy co-ordination entails bringing together various stakeholders with varying interests in terms of formulation and implementation on any policy programmes and projects to ensure their views are taken on board, thus ensuring policy clarity and consistency,” Khaya Moyo said.
The ZNCR is an annual report on the country’s competitiveness in different economic sectors. It provides a baseline to understand Zimbabwe’s competitiveness, information for policymakers, the basis of attracting foreign direct investment and makes a comparative analysis of other countries, among many other things.