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Byo to host another economic summit

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The Bulawayo Business Arise (BBA), a lobby group, has lined up an economic summit for early next year to map out a strategy to address the plethora of challenges besetting companies.

GAMMA MUDARIKIRI
OWN CORRESPONDENT

The summit which is slated for February would focus on the outlook for industry in Bulawayo following the presentation of the 2014 budget by Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa last month.

“The main focus of the economic summit is to bring captains of industry in Bulawayo together especially after the budget presentation to explore the outlook of industry in 2014,” BBA administrator George Mukamba, said.

“We need to come up with a common position as captains of industry and lobby the government to create a suitable environment to enable the revival of trade and industry.”

Economic analysts say the outlook for industry is bleak after government failed to make available an urgent financial rescue package for companies in distress in the 2014 budget.

There are projections that more companies would close next year as the economy continues to struggle.

Companies like Marvo and Rubber Products, among many others, are in dire stress.

Some have been struggling to pay employees and others could fail to reopen next year following their 2013 annual shutdowns.

Mukamba said the summit would be an annual event and a platform to evaluate performance of Bulawayo’s economy.

Captains of industry are also expected to discuss measures to salvage Bulawayo industry which is in the doldrums after 84 companies closed last year with more continuing to shut down.

Mukamba said the summit would also focus on unpacking the much-hyped Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim Asset) and government plans to declare Bulawayo a special industrial zone.

The government is expected to declare Bulawayo a special economic zone next year after amending the Investment Act.

Efforts to revive the city’s status as the hub of industrial activity in the country are being intensified.

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