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Competitiveness eludes Zim firms

ONLY 9,7% of firms in Zimbabwe have an international recognised quality certificate, a situation that puts local firms on the negative with regards to global competitiveness, a research firm has revealed.

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

Giving her presentation at the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce annual congress held in Victoria Falls last week, BMI Research senior operational risk analyst, Chiedza Madzima, said local firms, according to the World Bank, were producing products of poor quality.

“A unique feature about Zimbabwe is that local investors especially in the secondary areas and tertiary spaces have long been insulated from significant competition due to Zimbabwe’s historic isolation and protectionist measures of the past,” Madzima said.

“Businesses operating in these sectors need to now assess their competitiveness in what will be a more open environment in the years ahead. As it stands, according to the World Bank, only 9,7% of firms in Zimbabwe have an international recognised quality certificate,” she said.

Madzima said only 12,4% of firms in Zimbabwe spend money on research and development while only 38,7% have a website.
“With the dawn of the fourth industrial revolution and with greater economic openness in Zimbabwe, local industries will face tighter and broader competition,” she said.

“The technology readiness of Zimbabwean firms need to improve for businesses spamming from food production, textile manufacturing, packaging, banking financial services, telecoms sector, private security, high education just to name a few.”

“There is a strong need to adopt solution as opposed to boosting productivity, raising competitiveness and reducing task duplication. We believe that this can be done through creating or enhancing strategic partnerships, adoption of enabling technologies and so forth,” she said.

Madzima said over the next decade with the implementation of positive reforms, local value addition would be led by growth in the services and manufacturing sectors as stronger economic linkages develop.

“Zimbabwe has the potential to have large and regional competitive services in manufacturing industries, but there needs to be a stronger adoption of modern labour market reforms on the part of the policy makers, while the private sector needs to make stronger efforts to boost competitiveness,” she said.

Source: Newsday

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