Employers ponder the future at congress

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THE Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe (Emcoz) will hold its congress in Victoria Falls later this month focusing on the outlook for next year.

By Kudzai Kuwaza

The congress will run from November 23 to 26 under the theme “Tying Loose Ends — What Employers are Taking into 2017” and is being held at a time the country is enmeshed in a deepening economic crisis characterised by a debilitating liquidity crunch, low capacity utilisation, company closures and job losses.

“A disruptive environment creates uncertainty, which capital avoids at all costs. Both ‘Doing Business’ and ‘World Competitiveness’ Reports point to inconsistency in the national policy framework as the major determinant of Zimbabwe’s unfavourable position on each of the reports’ rankings,” Emcoz executive director John Mufukare said.

“The Congress will deal with uncertainty by highlighting the positives in the economy. This will be through a panel discussion appropriately termed ‘The Silver Lining’. Discussants will be a representative of a significant group of foreign investors, a local success story, scenario planning and a short expose of the Enabling Environment for Sustainable Business Programme in Zimbabwe.”

Mufukare said Emcoz had invited President Robert Mugabe to officially open the congress, but had been informed that one of the two Vice-Presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa or Phelekezela Mphoko will open the congress.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya is expected to address the congress and to elaborate on the introduction of bond notes into the market.

Economic Planning permanent secretary Desiree Sibanda will address delegates on how the introduction of Special Economic Zones is expected to help address the structural issues raised in the Doing Business and World Competitiveness reports. Industry minister Mike Bimha will also attend and explain how protecting the manufacturing sector through Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 will address issues of aggregate demand and the structural problems in the economy.

Emcoz president Joel Kahwema, whose term of office ends at the congress, will offer himself for re-election.

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