The Minister of Industry and Commerce, Dr Mike Bimha has implored the Special Economic Zones board to work hard in mobilising investment to the country, saying failures of the past should not be repeated.
Minister Bimha was speaking during a courtesy call by the newly setup board led by former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor, Dr Gideon Gono in Harare this Wednesday.
Dr Bimha said the entity should study the current models of special economic zones that have been earmarked for Sunway City in Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls and come up with a model that they think is suitable for Zimbabwe.
Dr Bimha added that it is crucial that the companies brought into the special economic zones are able to export and bring the much needed foreign currency into Zimbabwe.
“There is huge potential for such production in the hardwood, metal engineering, gas, tourism and diamond sectors,” he said.
Dr Gono said his board is determined to ensure that the special economic zones produce results in the first 90 days of their appointment.
“The special economic zones which are a product of the President’s 10 Point Plan will push the value addition and beneficiation drive which has been brought to both SADC and the African Union (AU). They will also ensure that local skills are fully capitalised to fulfill the aims of ZIMASSET on job creation,” Dr Gono said.
He highlighted areas such as diamond production in Manicaland Province, setting up of agriculture equipment industries, clean energy and tourism, saying the special economic zones should take advantage of the raw materials found in the area instead of moving them from one corner of the country to another and reduce costs and prices of the finished commodities.