The First Lady Grace Mugabe says the declaration of Bulawayo as special economic zone was a government deliberate effort to increase economic activity in the city and a strategy to revive industries that were hit by the economic challenges.
In a speech read on her behalf by the Minister of State for Bulawayo Metropolitan Cde Eunice Sandi Moyo at the 2016 inaugural Provincial ZIM ASSET Stakeholder Conference in Bulawayo, the First Lady said regional linkages through good road and rail network, place the city as a perfect regional manufacturing hub under the special economic zone status.
She said Bulawayo will have a competitive advantage leading to competitively priced goods due to flexible laws that go hand in glove with the status.
Mugabe said the new status will boost the local economy of Bulawayo by attracting companies to invest and produce in the city, thereby creating employment and generating economic activity.
The First Lady also commended Bulawayo for embracing STEM saying this will ensure that students benefit from science and technology for global competitiveness in production.
She further implored government ministries and departments to work closely with the people and attend to their needs on time in line with government policy and President Mugabe’s 10-point plan.
Bulawayo was further challenged to be innovative and come up with strategies to improve the local economy.
The conference has attracted a number of government ministers who will present various papers, among them Zimbabwe's economic recovery plan in the local and external market.