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Industrial rescue plan for Zimbabwe

By Nqobile Bhebhe
Posted on Tuesday, 26 July 2016 11:05

The two sectors are struggling to stay afloat due to critical liquidity shortages, power outages, smuggling, increased foreign competition and low consumer demand. Most pharmaceutical firms have collapsed and the southern African country is relying on imports from India. The UNIDO facility will run from 2016 to 2019.

most certificates were issued for imports coming from South Africa constituting 75 percent, followed by China

On Monday, UNIDO official, Edme Koffi said the programme will focus on industrial upgrading and modernisation, support green development, industrial energy efficiency and renewable energy development.

UNIDO is a specialised agency of the United Nations that promotes industrial development for poverty reduction, inclusive of globalisation and environmental sustainability.

A similar initiative – Distressed and Marginalised Areas Fund (DIMAF) – launched in 2013 as a catalyst for the revival of collapsed industries, failed. It flopped after government struggled to mobilise its $20 million contribution to the $40 million fund, with economic analysts subsequently writing off the bailout.

Meanwhile, on Monday, the Zimbabwean government announced it had issued more than 6,000 import certificates for a wide range of products, with three quarters of those being South African goods. South Africa is Zimbabwe’s largest trading partner, accounting for about 75 per cent of imported goods.

“It has been observed that most certificates were issued for imports coming from South Africa constituting 75 percent, followed by China, and the rest of the world,” Industry and Commerce minister, Mike Bimha said at the launch of a Bureau Veritas office in Harare. The French company Bureau Veritas, has been set up to measure standards.

Zimbabwe has been battling a tide of cheap and predominantly substandard products from China and neighbouring countries, which has pushed its own manufacturing industry to the brink and widened its trade deficit.

In 2015, Zimbabwe registered a trade deficit of $3.3 billion, about a fifth of its GDP, after exports for the full year to December amounted to $2.7 billion against imports of $6 billion.

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