The government says the revival of Bulawayo industries is a top priority, as the second republic moves in to develop the nation going forward.

The Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce, Cde Raj Modi said the second republic’s thrust is to restore the legacy of Bulawayo as an industrial hub of the country.

Cde Modi said there is need to create investor friendly economic policies to fulfill President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s mantra that Zimbabwe is open for business.

“I want to see Bulawayo getting back to its former glory, to how it was in the early 1980s. That is my mission now. There is need for some changes in some of the policies that we have. It is good that the indigenisation policy has been reviewed. We will also take advantage of the special economic zones,” he said.

The development comes at a time when Bulawayo has seen a wave of de-industrialisation of several companies in the manufacturing industries, owing to several factors chief among them being sanctions coupled with induced operational challenges ranging from capital constraints, obsolete equipment and high production costs.

As part of efforts to revive Bulawayo industries, Cde Modi said they will increase capacity utilisation in the city industries by offering tax havens whereby new companies bring in equipment duty free.

“We are going to improve the economy by offering tax havens and allowing new companies to bring in new equipment duty free. We are going to offer them incentives so that they can come to Bulawayo,” he said.

The government has gazzetted special economic zones law whereby certain incentives will be offered for business to physically locate and operate in such areas as a measure to revive industries.