Dumisani Nsingo, Senior Business Reporter
THE Government will soon release a new Industrial Development Policy (IDP), which is set to be a guideline on how the country intends to revive its industrial and manufacturing sectors.
Industry and Commerce Deputy Minister Chiratidzo Mabuwa said the new IDP (2017-2021) which succeeds the 1DP (2012-2016) was formalised by the ministry and is awaiting Cabinet approval.
“It’s on the cards and coming up very well. We have had support from development partners and we are expecting it to go through Cabinet soon and then it will be made public,” she said.
She said the overall objective for the Government under the IDP (2017-2021) would be to restore the manufacturing sector’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product doubling to 30 percent and its contribution to exports increased to 50 percent from 26 percent.
Deputy Minister Mabuwa said the key principles of the IDP are plant, equipment and skills audit, import substitution, value-addition or beneficiation, technology transfer and research and development, and exports of value-added products.
Some of the strategies to be used will also include the provision of funds to Distressed Strategic Companies, review of import tariffs on the customs duty and value-added tax on industrial raw materials and packaging, and formulation of a sound National Trade Policy to support the IDP.
However, Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce president Mr Davison Norupiri said the delay in the pronouncement of the IDP was likely to affect investment inflows into the country.
“The delays of the (IDP) policy may pose to delays in investments as investors may be waiting to find out if the document will be favourable to their business interests. The policy will give industrialists insights on the dos and don’ts. So it is a much awaited thing.
“The document is going to work as a guide on how to do business and we welcome that. This will ensure that the Government and the industry will be “singing from one hymn book” and will reduce differences. We believe the document will change and affect investment dynamics,” he said.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Mr Busisa Moyo said the IDP was of paramount importance as it provides guidelines for a new impetus for industrialisation in Zimbabwe.
“It’s very important and guides what will happen in industry from 2017 to 2021 (four years). It is underpinned by the value chain concept, which is an inclusive model of economic development that touches on primarily agriculture and extractive industries,” said Mr Moyo.
It is a general practice worldwide that Industrial Development Policies are crafted on a five-year time bound basis. The logic behind this approach is simply that the five-year period allows for both implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the policy to make sure that what is set out to be achieved is achieved.