By Kenias Chivuzhe
THE need to promote private sector growth, harness provincial competitive advantage and improve the ease of doing business, took centre stage at the inaugural Manicaland Investment Conference held in Nyazura this Friday.
The conference provided a platform for prospective investors, business and government to deliberate on ways to attract more investment to the province.
‘We need the decentralised registration of companies as lack of registration distorts the provincial GDP ranks and the growth of the local industry,” said John Chauke a local investor.
“There is a need to ensure local authorities also engage residents to partner them in funding some of the developmental projects. This creates a sense of ownership.”
Representing local authorities, Mutasa Rural District Chief Executive Officer, George Bandure spoke on incentives to attract investors.
“As local authorities, we are offering incentives such as waivers to pay some of the required fees as we seek to promote local investments. There are a lot of investment opportunities in the tourism and energy sectors as well as beneficiation of agricultural products.”
Manicaland Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Honourable Nokuthula Matsikenyere outlined the scope of the vast investment opportunities in the province.
“We are promoting investments in sectors such as mining, tourism, manufacturing and construction among others.”
Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Honourable Clemence Chiduwa highlighted that the government has put in place measures to support local production.
“This conference comes at a time when the national focus is on productivity. We need to promote industrialisation based on the province’s competitive advantage including agriculture value chain support.
“Companies need to take advantage of SI6 of 2016 which allows those importing capital equipment to be exempted from paying duty. This cuts across all sectors as the government seeks to promote local production. We have also come up with a US$30 million revolving fund for the horticulture sector to encourage investments,” said the deputy minister.
With Manicaland’s GDP oscillating between numbers six and eight, the investment conference has set the tone towards the drive to climb up the development ladder and leapfrog other provinces.