The Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce, Cde Raj Modi has urged industrialists to start implementing strategies that will propel the productive sector in Bulawayo to function at full capacity and realise their competitive advantage.

The development follows the recently ended Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) annual congress where captains of industries laid out strategies set to stimulate economic growth and development in the country.

Speaking during a ‘Meet the Industrialist Business Forum’ in Bulawayo on Saturday, Cde Modi challenged industrialists to start scaling up the production of goods and services within the manufacturing industry.

He added that as government, they were working round the clock in ensuring that the import bill which is gobbling much needed foreign currency is reduced.

“We need to do away with the culture of talking without walking. The days of talk show are over. Our factories must scale up production, the closed ones must be opened. Let us not wait for the government to do everything for us. Some people don’t give us a chance, they say reviving industry is an abortive attempt but we desire a functioning and efficient industrial sector,” said Cde Modi.

During the forum, the Minister of Bulawayo Metropolitan Province, Cde Judith Ncube said the resuscitation of the economy is largely hinged on restoring Bulawayo as an industrial hub.

“Investment is key to the development of any country. Bulawayo used to be an industrial hub of our economy and as long as that status is not achieved, our economy will continue to suffer. I would like to implore the business community to tap into the incentives profiled by the special economic zone framework,” she said.

In the meeting, industrialists appealed to the government for tax relief and reduction of transaction costs in order to give locally produced goods price competitiveness in foreign markets.

The business forum is the first of its kind in Bulawayo and was attended by over 140 business delegates from various Bulawayo based companies.