From : Newsday.co.zw
27 June 2012
The Zimbabwe National Chamber Commerce (ZNCC) annual 2012 congress begins in Victoria Falls today, at a time the local industry continues to reel under gripping liquidity challenges.

With capacity utilisation in the manufacturing sector estimated at 57,2%, liquidity constraints emanating from failure by companies to access long-term lines of credit to replace obsolete equipment, continue to stalk companies.

In recent weeks, several companies have lost their properties to auctions as they struggle to repay loans.

The three-day congress is being held under the theme, “Turning recovery into accelerated growth towards a $100 billion economy.”

If the country is to achieve the $100 billion economy by 2040, the economy growth should grow at an average of 10% per year in the next two decades.

ZNCC vice-president for Mashonaland region, Davison Norupiri, said the theme was in line with the country’s vision of accelerating the economic recovery path.

“Last year we were looking at the recovery path, but we are now looking at accelerating it,” he said.

Vice-President Joice Mujuru will be the guest of honour while Industry and Commerce minister Welshman Ncube is also expected to attend.

Industry representatives including TN Holdings chief executive officer Tawanda Nyambirai African Development Bank lead economist Damoni Kitabire, Moses Tekere, Faustin Mbundu Kananura from Rwanda and economist Brains Muchemwa are scheduled to make presentations.

Topics to be discussed include infrastructure rehabilitation, as a necessary imperative for accelerated economic growth and leveraging ICT for economic growth.

The meeting will also look at what needs to be done to enhance the consumption of local products as well as how the Industrial Development Policy and National Trade Policy can stimulate growth.

There will also be awards at the end of the conference to honour the businesswoman of the year, businessman of the year and rural businessperson of the year.

The manufacturing sector is projected to grow by 6% this year benefiting from recovery in both the agriculture and mining sectors.

Last year, 85 companies in Bulawayo closed shop due to viability problems and efforts to resuscitate them have been stalled by funding constraints.