THE Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) president Kurai Matsheza has called on government to create an enabling environment to rescue businesses that are weighed down by economic headwinds such as foreign currency shortages.
Some of the challenges afflicting businesses are power cuts, exchange rate disparities, high taxes, and in recent weeks, declining capital.
Speaking at the three-day 2023 CZI Annual Congress kicked off yesterday in Harare, Matsheza said that companies needed to adapt to the macro-economic challenges facing the nation.
“We urge authorities to create an environment so that we can attract domestic and foreign investments to make sure that we grow the economy,” he said.
Matsheza said the growth in the primary sectors of mining and agriculture was commendable and provided an opportunity for shifting policies towards increased trade, on the audacious goal of creating an upper middle-income economy by 2030.
He added that policy transformation in the business sector was a key enabler to business elevation, considering the challenges such as power growth and infrastructure development that has been hindering progress in the business sector.
For this edition of the annual congress, CZI has roped in three developmental financiers and six private equity firms to participate in what the confederation styled as a business to business (B2B) networking event.
The idea behind the B2B concept is to allow companies to directly interact with one another, or in this case, local businesses interact with investors.
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This was done to help participating companies have access to ready capital that has proven elusive owing to most local banks not providing foreign currency lending post 2025, the year in which the usage of forex expires.
In its 2022 annual congress, CZI reported that at least US$10 million in equity funding was raised.
CZI chief executive officer Sekai Kuvarika said the business environment in Zimbabwe should be more competitive, more enabling, and less regulated.
“We are at a point where we need to be talking about intentional growth and working towards it. We do not need to wait for the dial to move on its own. 2030 is seven years from where we are today and we need to accelerate how we get there,” she said.
“We have a missing segment in the manufacturing sector, in particular, the sub-sector that produces semi processed goods that are still used in the manufacturing sector,” she said.