_:through implementing corporate social responsibility programmes_
By Brendah Muchato
His Excellency President and ZANU PF First Secretary Cde E.D Mnangagwa urged players in the private sector to invest in the communities they operate through implementing corporate social responsibility programmes as weĺl as taking advantage offered by the African Continental Free Trade Area.
"I also take this opportunity to urge players in the private sector to invest in the communities in which they operate through implementing corporate social responsibility programmes. As you do so, the growth in your respective sectors must be reflective of the welfare of your employees, including through investing in their training and capacity building", he said.
"Going forward, I would like to encourage the business community to take advantage of the opportunities being offered by the African Continental Free Trade Area, whose mandate is to accelerate intra-African trade and boost Africa's trading position in the global market by strengthening Africa's voice and policy space in global trade negotiations", President Mnangagwa said.
President Mnangagwa made these remarks today at the E.D Mnangagwa Business Summit 2023 at the Harare International Conference Centre which was running under the theme 'Enhancing Zimbabwe's Economic Development through Public-Private Sector Engagement for Prosperity'.
President Mnangagwa also called upon the private sector to take advantage of developments made by the Second Republic.
" With regards to trade facilitation, the Second Republic is in the process of upgrading and modernising our ports of entry in order to improve competitiveness, ease congestion and facilitate efficient movement of goods. Over and above this, plans are underway to establish a one stop border post at the Beitbridge port of entry. The Victoria Falls, Kazungula, Forbes-Machipanda and Plumtree one stop border posts are also priorities. I exhort you, the private sector, to take full advantage of the benefits which these developments have to offer with regards to timeliness and reduction of costs", President Mnangagwa said.
He further challenged the stakeholders to collaborate with institutions of higher and tertiary education.
"I am encouraged that over 80% of goods found in Zimbabwean supermarkets are locally manufactured. In this regard, my Government will continue implementing policies which ensure innovation, knowledge transfer and access to markets for business to maintain this momentum. On your part as business, I challenge you to collaborate with our institutions of higher and tertiary education to ensure that the various patents, products and prototypes that they are producing end up on your shop shelves", he said.
He went on to say "My Government will continue engaging you, our stakeholders, in nurturing an investor friendly environment to spur economic growth. This includes through entrenching the rule of law and property rights. Growth through private sector led economic development, policy consistency and ease of doing business will remain guaranteed under my Administration. In line with our 'Zimbabwe is Open for Business' mantra, work is ongoing with regards removing hurdles which delay investment and obstruct trade"
With regards to the Elections, President Mnangagwa urged Zimbabweans to mantain peace as the country heads towards the Harmonised General Elections.
"As the country heads for the Harmonised General Elections, I once again call on all Zimbabweans to maintain peace", he said.
He added "My Government wishes to assure business and investors that mechanisms are in place to guarantee the security of persons and property during the election season. May you as the business community complement these efforts by fostering peace, love and tolerance. Together, let us remain on our course of building the Zimbabwe we all want, brick by brick, stone upon stone"