Zimbabwe is among the countries whose economy has been severely affected by the global crisis and recovery rate is dependent on how long the crisis would last, a renowned economist has said.

Presenting the Zimbabwe 2021 economic outlook during the Marketers Virtual luncheon held on 12 March, economist Persistence Gwanyanya said the Covid 19 pandemic had impacted on the global economy.

“The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has indicated that economies will be affected differently and this would also be reflected by structural challenges they have been facing before the pandemic. Zimbabwe enters the pandemic with deep seated structural challenges and these include low confidence level,” he said.

He said the confidence level in the Zimbabwe economy has bottomed and this has been identified as one of the major drawback to the recovery Zimbabwean economy.

“Our industrial base has currently been very low, characterised by the 60 percent of the 1980 levels and de-industrialisation levels in the country. Against that we have an unsustainable debt of $8 billion + . The bulk of it has been external debt,” said Gwanyanya.

Gwanyanya said the Monetary Policy Statements presented by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has been very conservative.

“The MPS reflects towards traditionalism where RBZ is now is relying on traditional MPS instruments because we have de-dollarised the economy but partially dollarized,” he said.

Gwanyanya said Government had made a number of reforms to stabilise the economy and they had begun to bear effort.

“The efforts to recover the Zimbabwean economy can actually be complemented currently, given the structural challenges, it can be long term and it cannot be sorted over-night.  The recovery will also take a clue from what is happening in the global economy. We may need to be patient as the economy recovers from the challenges it is facing,” he said.

Presenting on Business Strategies in uncertainty during the same event, Zimnat Chief Executive Officer Mustafa Sachak highlighted that business strategies had been affected by a number of factors among them geographical, political, environmental and technological.

“Businesses are being impacted and a lot technologies are coming together. So when you sit down to strategise in these uncertain times, you have to factor these technologies,” said Sachak.

He defined strategy a series of choices you make on where to play and how to win.

“As marketers you know this better than I do. Every journey starts with an insight .Crafting a business strategy in an uncertain environment requires a guiding insight”.

As a business leader my insight is ‘I want a strategy that sets me apart from my competitor. I want a winning strategy that will make my business dominant’. The vision is clear however, it’s a tough call as I cannot control everything about the environment,” he said.

The Marketers Luncheon is an annual event hosted by the Marketers Association. It brings together marketers to discuss critical issues that affect business particularly the economic outlook and marketing related matters.

This year the event was hosted virtually due to the Covid 19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions at the time.