26 April 2014

Zimbabwe: Economy - We Are Doing Our Best, Mugabe

Photo: Jeffrey Moyo/ IPS
A street vendor.

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has said he believes the economy will grow in leaps and bounds under the Zim Asset despite Western sanctions.

The government was determined to turn the economy around despite the embargo which was undermining efforts to develop the country.

"The sanctions are undermining efforts to create an enabling environment for business but we are doing our best," he said at the official opening of the 55th Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) on Friday.

"We do not need to crumble under sanctions. We want to show the world that Zimbabwe will not be defeated by sanctions."

The president urged businesses to be proactive and embrace the Zim Asset economic blueprint, and adopt cutting-edge innovative solutions to sustain competition.

"Investment in relevant technologies to improve productivity and quality of goods and services is critical in order to take advantage of export opportunities in the region and beyond," he said.

Mugabe said the government was aware of challenges facing the industry, including lack of capital to retool and shortage of utility supplies which are key enablers for industrialisation.

"The government will work within its means to improve the situation by mobilising affordable long-term funds for the industry," he said.

The president said the government was also committed to the tripartite initiative between the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) aimed at harmonising trade integration.

"It is our hope that this harmonisation will go a long way in boosting intra Africa trade through common trade policies, and reduction and elimination of trade barriers that can result in the creation of an expanded single market," he said.

Mugabe invited local and foreign investors to seize the vast trade and investment opportunities in the various sectors of the economy.

He commended exhibitors at the ZITF, saying their participation indicated confidence in economic recovery despite the sanctions.

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