THE Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce, the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality and Africa Investor from South Africa will next month host an investorâ€™s summit to explore areas of opportunity in an attempt to breathe life into the countryâ€™s economy which has been unstable over the past nine years.
The business sector has been incapacitated by the economic meltdown the country has been experiencing which has resulted in companies operating at below 30% capacity.
Harare Chamber of Commerce, an affiliate of ZNCC said that they expected the summit to start during the last week of June.
â€œBecause of dollarisation most businesses are operating at zero capacity, We anticipate that this summit will bring about synergies and engage in projects such as toll manufacturing to build capacity in the business sector,â€ said Harare Chamber chairman, Tendai Mavima.
Mavima said they were also working with African embassies in the country to boost the countryâ€™s industrial capacity. He said as a result of their efforts, two trade exhibitions with Zambia and Algeria have been pencilled in to create partnerships with local business people in these countries.
He added that the Harare Chamber of Commerce will hold their annual business awards this month to recognise business people who managed to stay afloat despite the harsh economic environment prevailing in the country.
â€œSurvival in Zimbabwe is an achievement especially against a background of policies that were not conducive for business survival. Companies were made to withdraw money that was not enough to buy a loaf of bread but we survived,â€ he said.
Mavima said the selection process for the winners of the various awards will be done by members of the Chamber with the adjudication process being done by a committee of independent judges.
The categories for this yearâ€™s awards are Businessman, Businesswoman, Best Exporter, Best Social Responsibility Programme and Entrepreneur of the year.Â Â Â
The awards will be held under the theme â€œBusiness, a diamond ready to shineâ€. Previous winners of these awards include Brian Mutandiro, (Businessman of the Year 2007), Chipo Mtasa (Businesswoman of the Year 2007) and Cargill Cotton (Exporter of the Year 2007).
BY KUDZAI KUWAZA