The government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Industry and Commerce has inaugurated the National Competitiveness Commission (NCC) Board that will spearhead the country’s competitive edge in accordance with the regional and international standards.

Officiating at the inauguration ceremony in Harare yesterday, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Mike Bimha said the chief mandates of the board include; developing, coordinating, and implementing key income and pricing policies that will enhance Zimbabwe’s global competitiveness, to monitor evolving sector specific subjects and strategies for enhancing Zimbabwe’s global competitiveness.

The board is chaired by renowned captain of industry, Kumbirai Katsande, who is deputised by former Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Tracy Mutariri.

Some of its members from the total of twelve include; Dr Gibson Chigumira from the Zimbabwe Policy Analysis Research Unit, Demitry Psilos Crystal Candy managing Director, Ellen Ruparanganda Competitive Tariffs Commission Director, Moleen Chitehwe a renowned legal practitioner, Devine Ndhlukula Securico Managing Director, among others.

Minister Bimha said the board members come from various business and professional backgrounds in line with the NCC Act, and were picked based on merit, and that it his hope that the board will deliver, basing on its composition and unified expertise and experience they have.

The board will also be tasked to review all existing and new business regulations to ascertain their impact on the cost of doing business and recommend amendments or repeals where appropriate to enhance competitiveness, as well as continuously monitor the cost drivers in the business and economic environment, and advise on measures to be taken to enhance productivity and address current and emerging costs challenges.

Some of its functions include identifying sectors of the Zimbabwean economy that have potential for global competitiveness, whilst also paying due attention to issues of the structure and size of industry, technology gaps and skills, and infrastructure and modernisation needs.

“The board will undertake research and maintain a comprehensive nationwide statistical database to be used in the analysis of competitiveness across all sectors of the economy, develop periodic competitiveness framevvorks and strategies, provide a platform for dialogue between the public and private sector, labour, academia and non-State actors on the subject of competitiveness.

“Build awareness and advocacy on matters related to competitiveness, produce an annual benchmarking report on national competitiveness to be called the National Competitiveness Report,” said Bimha.

The board is established, come in line with the NCC Act which call for the establishment of the Commission composed of at least 12 members, as stated in 5 Composition of Commission (1) Subject to subsection (2), “The Commission shall consist of not less than nine or more than twelve Commissioners appointed by the Minister in consultation with the President.

In appointing the members of the Commission the Minister shall endeavour to secure that at least sixty per centum of the Commission’s Board members come from the following sectors; employers and employees in industry and the business community; (b) researchers or academia; (c) economists; (d) legal practitioners; (e) accountants.

In his appointment accepting message, the Chairperson of the board, Katsande said the board come at a time the country is battling to attract investment. He called for all the sector members of Zimbabwe’s economy to work together with the board, saying the task ahead is a tall order for the board alone.

The country is currently dogged by a host of issues to do with the ease of doing business, some of major elements that has seen some investors especially foreign shunning it as an investment destination of choice, include poor infrastructure, shortage of liquidity in the financial markets, and the cost of doing business in general.