Officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade must be innovative and strategically positioned to help Government attract foreign direct investment in line with Zimbabwe's re-engagement policy, Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo said yesterday.
Speaking at a strategic planning workshop in Kadoma yesterday, he said the Covid-19 pandemic had affected the normal way of doing business and obstructed the work the ministry set out to achieve.
There was need to focus on materialisation of bi-national commissions and joint permanent commissions as well as following up memoranda of understanding, and pushing to improve the ease of doing business.
The workshop had to come up with strategies to regain lost ground and open new frontiers in these areas said the minister.
"The Covid-19 pandemic to a significant extent, retarded progress, in so far as the execution and accomplishment of programmes and projects we had set ourselves to achieve are concerned. We without exception, need to come up with strategies and activity matrices that ensure attainment of even better results," said Dr Moyo. The thematic areas that needed to be addressed were: image building, re-engaging the West, consolidating relations and regional peace and security. Trade and investment promotion, economic and commercial diplomacy, job creation and social inclusion were keys for economic growth.
Minister Moyo said the growth target required active involvement in efforts to boost export earnings to US$7 billion by 2023 and US$14 billion by 2030.
"This also entails increasing national export earnings of goods and services by a minimum of 10 percent annually whilst also improving our balance of payments position by way of enhanced import substitution."
"Covid-19 should, by no means, be an excuse for mediocrity and non-performance. Instead, it should present opportunities for achievement against all odds through the adoption of coherent and flexible plans, of course with due regard to safety and protection.
"We anticipate further flattening of the infections curve with the roll out of vaccines and continuation of adherence to precautions."