The three-day annual congress of the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries ended Friday with delegates drawing up resolutions about what they want done to revive the sector.
The congress was held under the theme of 'Imperatives for Reversing De-industrialisation' but an observer said there was a risk that this was just another talk-show which did not yield any clearly defined action plan.
SW Radio Africa correspondent Lionel Saungweme, who attended the congress, said several labour-related topics came up for discussion, with some groups calling for the relaxation of laws to enable struggling companies to lay off workers.
There were also calls for the government to protect certain industries from competition from cheap imports, from China for example.
"Delegates also strongly voiced their opposition to the sanctions, which some saw as impinging on the operating environment.
"In response, Mines Minister Walter Chidakwa, said government was looking at mortgaging natural resources to unlock financing possibilities.
"But how far they are willing to do so remains to be seen as the past years have not shown that the ZANU PF government is willing to commit natural resources for the national good," Saungweme said.
Saungweme said that Bulawayo based economist Eric Bloch was almost a lone voice when he dismissed the effect of sanctions. According to Saungweme, Bloch said the restrictive measure had just provided the kind of excuse that government needed for their mismanagement of the economy.
"He said sanctions are against a few individuals and government should roll up its sleeves and deliver rather than keep playing this tired card.
"So for me this sounded just like another talk show, there was nothing to say this is what is going to be done by government and without any concrete action, I am afraid they will be discussing the same issues next year," Saungweme added.
In September, the European Union lifted sanctions against the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation. Only a handful of ZANU PF officials, and just one company, the Zimbabwe Defence Industries, remain on the targeted sanctions list.