The just concluded 2018 Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) annual congress saw industry agreeing that the country’s biggest challenge is not currency crisis but the structural issues with calls for fiscal discipline, cash budgeting and curbing of the unsustainable budget deficit which stood at $200 million during the first quarter of this year.
The major question that has dominated many business symposiums over the past few years has been whether Zimbabwe should adopt the Rand.
Captains of industry who graced the 2018 ZNCC congress concurred that Zimbabwe does not have a currency crisis but structural challenges to deal with in order to restore macro-economic stability.
As part of the resolutions participants agreed on the need to lobby for government to prioritise fiscal discipline, promote export-oriented growth and reduction of the unsustainable budget deficit.
“The discussions have been frank and constructive. What is emerging from the congress is that Zimbabwe should urgently address the structural challenges in particular the unsustainable budget deficit,” said ZNCC CEO Mr Christopher Mugaga.
The budget deficit continues to constrain social and infrastructure spending.
Limited investment in infrastructure at one percent of the total budget continues to compromise the country’s economic competitiveness according to the industrialists.
Newly appointed ZNCC president Mr Tamuka Macheka said apart insignificant investments in key enablers, limited investment in research has also not done any good in the country’s quest to achieve accelerated economic growth.
“It is quite clear that the infrastructure spending has remained low at around one percent of the total budget. One of the resolutions adopted has been the need for government to increase investment in infrastructure to at least 2 percent of the budget,” HE SAID.
The economic reform agenda continues to excite the international investors, however, The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget and Finance chairperson, Cde David Chapfika said the economic actors still need to address the remaining bottlenecks hindering the ease of doing business.
“We have not addressed all the bottlenecks that have made us uncompetitive and we should as a matter of urgency prioritise the ease of doing business in order to attract more foreign direct investment,” he said.
According to a research paper presented by MBI Research during the ZNCC congress, one of the most immediate tasks which have serious implications on future macro-economic stability for Zimbabwe is the need to deliver a credible election.