Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce Raj Modi at the National Public Procurement Conference in Harare today revealed that the Government in collaboration with the private sector formulated a Draft Local Content Strategy which provides guiding principles for the development of the local industry in Zimbabwe.
The strategy, which is a key component of the broader Draft National Industrial Development Policy, will be implemented through Preferential Local Procurement initiatives and development of funding models dedicated for the development of local suppliers to be financed through government as well as private capital according to the Deputy Minister.
“Business opportunities will also be created for local firms through among others, designing tender procedures based towards local suppliers as well as special consideration for businesses owned by women, youths and people with disabilities,” Modi said.
“Government shall ensure enhancement of competitiveness through capacity building, transfer of technological know-how as well as funding R and D in the respective value chain.”
The Deputy Minister also said under the local Content Strategy, minimum threshold on the amount of locally sourced materials to produce goods will be specified for goods to qualify as being locally produced.
“For the local industry to benefit from opportunities emanating from enhanced public procurement, there is need for maximum collaboration and cooperation of all stakeholders which include, government institutions and the private sector,” Modi said.
“Continuous collaboration amongst all stakeholders is key in ensuring inclusive and participatory industrial growth and development.”
“It is therefore imperative that local companies take local content in their projects and strategic planning initiatives to enhance local procurement by public institutions.”
The Government procurement system is benefitting large and established businesses that are foreign owned and located outside the country according to the Bulawayo based Deputy Minister.
“Enhanced local procurement by public entities will ensure that taxes collected by Government are used not only to provide citizens with public goods but also as a tool for strengthening of the domestic industrial base and/or development of new industries,” Modi said.