GOVERNMENT will adopt measures to expand Zimbabwe’s export basket and increase its markets by focusing on areas where the country has comparative advantages, President Mugabe said. Addressing thousands who attended the Heroes Day main celebrations at the National Heroes’ Acre on Monday, President Mugabe said illegal sanctions imposed by Britain and its Western allies continued to stifle the resuscitation of key industries.
“Due to the illegal economic sanctions imposed on the country by Britain and her allies, our manufacturing sector continued to exhibit signs of contraction and sluggish production volumes compared to last year,” said the President.
“Most companies in the textile and clothing sub-sectors downsized their operations in order to contain costs while others were forced to shut down due to unsustainable operational costs.
“Government is greatly concerned by the continuing trend which implies that we are losing out on production which our industries can handle.”
President Mugabe said through vigorous promotion of adding value to local primary commodities in all sectors of the economy, the manufacturing sector was expected to increase export earnings from current 16 percent to 50 percent by 2016.
The President said while the economy remained stable, it was being threatened by the erratic rainfall patterns due to climatic change which has impacted negatively on agricultural output.
Growth targets for the agricultural sector for 2013 has since been revised downwards from 6,4 percent to 5,4 percent.
“These developments threaten our food security and overall economic performance,” said President Mugabe.
“Government will, however, continue to implement mitigatory measures aimed at strengthening the agricultural sector, boosting agricultural production and increase productivity in order to ensure food and nutrition security.”
On the mining sector, President Mugabe said
Government was in process of reviving the Mining Promotion Corporation, an exploration company under the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation.
The company will spearhead exploration and build and inventory of bankable mining projects.
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