The 2016 Zimbabwe National Competitiveness Report (ZNCR), which identifies several factors inhibiting the country's competitiveness, has been launched here by Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The 2016/17 Global Competitiveness Index was published recently and indicates that the country is now ranked 126th out of 138 countries, which shows a marginal decline in ranking from 125 in 2015/16 and 124 in 2014/15.

Speaking at the official opening of the inaugural National Economic Symposium and the launch of second ZNCR here Thursday, Mnangagwa said implementation of recommendations of the 2015 ZNCR were at an advanced stage.

The National Economic Consultative Forum organized the event, which was running under the theme "Enhancing National Competitiveness and Economic Prosperity through Dialogue".

Some of the recommendations included accelerating the setting up of a National Competitiveness Commission (NCC) and the National Productivity Institute (NPI).

"With regards to the setting up of a NCC, Parliament is already seized with the NCC Bill and the commission will replace the National Incomes and Pricing Commission and refocus it to deal with competitiveness issues," said Mnangagwa.

"It will also assist in the identification of cross cutting issues affecting the country's competitiveness and develop the appropriate strategies for improvement."

As for the formation of an NPI, an interim board had already been appointed to spearhead formation of the institute, he added. "The institute that will spearhead research related to productivity in a bid to rationalize the labour market is expected to be in place in the first quarter of 2017," he said.

"The first and foremost task of the NPI is to create a framework that would link the country's wage levels to productivity," he said.