Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Mike Bimha has described the just ended 37th SADC summit in Pretoria as a great success and a positive step towards the industrialisation agenda.
In an interview with the ZBC, Minister Bimha said the summit has directed the SADC secretariat to set a directorate to specialise on issues of industrialisation.
The leaders say that in its present structure the secretariat has no capacity to implement the industrialisation programme.
The summit also called for the prioritasation of four sectors in the industrialisation agenda, namely pharmaceuticals, agro-processing, mineral beneficiation and energy.
Issues that came up for discussion at this fourth industrialisation summit, after Victoria Falls, Harare, Botswana and Swaziland, included the SADC free trade area, trade in services, agro-processing and the establishment of a separate desk for industrialisation in the SADC secretariat to expedite industrialisation.
The SADC trade protocol also came up for discussion where member states are required to reduce taxes on certain goods to 0 percent but other countries are not yet ready to do so due to the different domestic policies that make it unviable to market certain products under the conditions.
Of particular concern to Zimbabwe is the issue of GMOs which destroy viability in the Zimbabwean produce.
Heads of state and government at the SADC summit also explored the issue of how to involve the private sector in the industrialisation programmes.