ZIMBABWE National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) president, Hlanganiso Matangaidze has bemoaned the poor state of the economy which has seen hundreds of local firms closing down or being listed in critical condition, throwing thousands of workers into the streets.
In his opening remarks at the ZNCC annual general meeting in Victoria Falls on Wednesday, Matangaidze said local firms were reeling from the severe liquidity crunch as a result of prevailing harsh economic climate.
He added that ZNCC yearned for economic recovery in order to create economic stability in the country.
“It is our desire for this beautiful sovereign nation to fully recover its lost status of being the bread basket of Southern Africa and a jewel of Africa. However, the sad reality is that the economy remains fragile, notwithstanding the significant positive gains realised from the improvement in the supply of goods and services,” Matangaidze said, adding the main fiscal challenge for the government is to create sufficient space for social and developmental expenditure.
He pointed that industry and commerce were bedevilled by power and water shortages, amid a myriad of economic challenges.
“Notwithstanding the challenges our economy faces regarding inaquadencies relating to our tangible economic enablers such as energy shortages, constraints in the supply of clean water as well as generally failing critical infrastructure, investor confidence, though intangible, remain a key economic enabler which if left unattended to, may render futility to all our efforts towards restoring our economy to its former glory.”
He added that Zimbabwe has been demonised by Western countries which are contributing to the economic collapse, pointing out that some investors were still relying on the World Bank for information regarding safety and cross-border investments, a development he said negatively affected foreign direct investment inflows.
The ZNCC boss charged that cheap imports flooding the market were creating problems for local industry, but said emphasis should now be on value addition “for local production to create jobs locally”.