Private firms invest close to US$2 bln in retooling & expansion

By Owen Mandovha

Zimbabwe’s economy is undergoing a major transformation, with companies massively investing in retooling and expansion.

The latest data released by the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency indicate a major shift in the mix of the import bill, with the private sector spending close to US$2 billion in importing capital goods for retooling and expansion.

Economist Professor Gift Mugano says these statistics are an affirmation of the major transformation underway in the economy which is set to boost manufacturing capacity and competitiveness.

“A lot of imports were consumptive in nature, but we have seen a shift to capital goods imports which shows that in the long term we are set to eradicate imports of non-essential elements due to increased production,” said Mugano.

Another economist Mr Kipson Gundani says now that industry is beginning to fire from all cylinders is a culmination of the massive investment in production efficiencies as supported by these statistics.

“If you look at what is happening on our supermarkets shelves, local products are dominating which indication that there is huge investment in the industry,” he said.

The ageing equipment and obsolete manufacturing systems due to years of limited investment weighed down manufacturing capacity and competitiveness which led to an influx of imports.

However, policy interventions by government are providing an impetus for industry revival as enshrined in the National Development Strategy One.

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