THE Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) will on Wednesday unveil this year’s Manufacturing Sector Survey, the most comprehensive review of the country’s industrial sector.
The Manufacturing Sector Survey, critical in guiding government on industrial policy, looks at capacity utilisation, access to finance, job creation and the effect of the cost of utilities on the manufacturing industry.
An exciting dimension in this year’s survey is the addition of a chapter on gender dynamics, which is meant to reveal the extent to which women are involved in the manufacturing industry, including the levels of executive positions they hold.
The survey will give details of developments in the manufacturing industry over the past 12 months and proffer solutions to difficulties in the economy.
The survey is published by The Financial Gazette, the country’s leading business weekly, and is conducted by the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, the largest industry representative body in the country, formed in 1923.
Some of the key issues that the CZI Manufacturing Sector Survey will explore include volume of output in the past year, the state of employment in the industry, technological developments, human capital dynamics, international trade and problems undermining the growth of the sector.
The survey will also assess the impact of legislation promulgated by government to protect local industries by restricting the importation of goods produced locally.
The survey is also expected to reveal the industrial capacity utilisation, which rose to 47,4 percent last year, from 34,3 percent in 2015, according to last year’s survey.
“Capacity utilisation is important for determining the elasticity of supply,” the CZI said.
“If firms are near 100 percent of capacity utilisation then supply will be very inelastic, at least in the short term. In the long term, firms can increase productive capacity and increase the amount of capital. Implicitly, the capacity utilisation rate is also an indicator of how efficiently the factors of production are being used,” said the industrial body.
The CZI Manufacturing Sector Survey is widely recognised as Zimbabwe’s leading analysis of the factors affecting business operations and growth, with a particular focus on the manufacturing sector.
The survey not only covers the performance of the manufacturing sector, but also analyses how competitive the sector is and what factors need to be addressed to enhance competitiveness.
The survey is conducted on an annual basis and provides insight into the state of the economy from the business perspective.
It has gained significance over the years, and policy makers and international financial institutions, among others, rely on its findings. The relevant survey documentation is available annually on the CZI website, which is www.czi.co.zw.
“A strong, competitive and diversified manufacturing sector is vital for the country. A competitive industry can lower costs and prices, create new products and improve quality, thus contributing to economic growth, poverty alleviation and job creation,” CZI said.