By Africa Moyo Recently in Norton
GOVERNMENT is expected to launch the Transitional Economic Stabilisation Programme tomorrow, amid high hopes that it will help to speedily transform the economy, particularly the re-industrialisation process which is gathering momentum.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube, confirmed this in an interview with The Herald Business on the sidelines of the Mid Term Monetary Policy Statement announcement on Monday.
“Yes, I will be launching the Transitional Economic Stabilisation Programme (TESP) on Friday,” said Prof Ncube.
Yesterday, Industry and Commerce Minister Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu, also told industrialists and Government officials in Norton after a tour of firms in the area including Best Fruit Processors, Dandy and Hastt Zimbabwe that the TESP would be launched tomorrow.
“It (The TESP) relates to industry. Firstly, our main focus is to assist companies with retooling mechanisms. We have identified various financing models that are sustainable, that will not be costly for our industries’ rebirth.
“We want private sector to lead this process, Government can only do so much; Government can only facilitate this process (and) private sector has to take its place,” said Minister Ndlovu.
The TESP is also expected to speak to issues relating to import substitution.
This follows concerns that the country is spending a lot of foreign currency in the importation of products that ordinarily can be produced locally.
Said Minister Ndlovu: “We are spending a lot of our hard earned foreign currency importing products that we have capacity to produce locally and we are in conversation with industry to see what sort of assistance, guidance they need for them to be able to fill that space so that we don’t import to the level that we are currently.”
The country’s trade deficit rose by 34 percent to $1,26 billion in the period February to June 2018, indicating that despite statutory measures to contain imports, the appetite for goods produced in other countries remains sky high.
Between February and June this year, Zimbabwe imported goods and services worth $2,87 billion against exports of $1,62 billion.
The imports are largely consumptive.
Prof Ncube said TESP would set the tone for the attainment of a middle income economy by 2030 as espoused by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Mid last month, Prof Ncube said “the world is waiting for us to announce it”.
“They want to hear our economic agenda, to operationalise ‘Vision 2030’, which is already public, so . . . by the middle of October we should be able to launch it publicly then we interrogate it.”
Minister Ndlovu yesterday said considering the strides made by industrialists in Norton, he is left “in no doubt that indeed 2030 middle class economy is possible”.