‘New Normal in Advancing Technology Way to Go’

There is need for companies to embrace a multi-stakeholder approach in order to facilitate and promote the development of sustainable, innovative and globally competitive industrial and commercial enterprises, a Cabinet minister has said..

Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza said last week that this could be done through exploring at opportunities arising in the country, in terms of production under the local content strategy and export development.

Dr Nzenza was speaking during the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) Company’s 33rd annual general meeting that was eld virtually.

She said the meeting had come at a time when the company’s major event had been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with negative impacts on revenue and tourism income for the Bulawayo community.

“Be that as it may, we now need to embrace the “New Normal”, advancing new innovations and embracing technology to ensure that the ZITF Company continues as a going concern,” she said.

“This will encompass operational review bearing in mind the precepts of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the recently concluded Africa Continental Free Trade Area in order to strategically place ZITF at the center stage of Trade in Zimbabwe.

“We meet at a time when the outbreak of this global pandemic has caused unprecedented widespread disruptions to every facet of life. Globally, the Meetings, Incentives, Events and Exhibitions (MICE) industry has suffered either cancellations or postponements of several big-ticket events with estimated costs running into millions of dollars.”

Dr Nzenza said the ZITF was an attractive destination and offers an opportunity for companies to meet and compare notes on trade and investment.

She said she was aware that the local industry in Bulawayo was geared to increase capacity in providing goods and services and this assisted the local community to benefit from the high level visits at the premiere show.

“It is in this context, that I would like to urge the board and management to conclude a five-year strategic plan as required by the Public Entities and Corporate Governance Act which takes into account the foregoing circumstances,” said Dr Nzenza.

“In formulating the strategy, all parties must be cognisant of the need for innovation around a modern, relevant and globally attractive company that is a pacesetter in the region. “To enable this, I wish to also urge the Board to finalise the process of assembling a strong forward looking management team.”

Dr Nzenza said despite these fundamental disruptions to the core-business of ZITF Company which have been induced by the pandemic, she was confident that the board of directors will deliver on its mandate to reposition ZITF and creatively guide the company towards Vision 2030 of attaining investment and trade. “The universality of this crisis demands all hands on the deck, it demands wide collaboration and it calls for entire value chains to tackle the challenge from multiple angles,” she said.

“Beyond the evaluation of the risks presented by the pandemic, ZITF must also look at the opportunities arising as the country continues to look inward in terms of production through the local content strategy and export development.

“To enable this, we need to embrace a multi-stakeholder approach in order to facilitate and promote the development of sustainable, innovative and globally competitive industrial and commercial enterprises.”

Dr Nzenza said the ministry remained committed to supporting ZITF in delivering its mandate and ensuring its contribution towards President Mnangagwa’s Vision 2030 of achieving an upper middle income economy.

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