Govt expects ZIA transformation by year end

Minister Mutsvangwa

Minister Mutsvangwa

Conrad Mwanawashe
GOVERNMENT expects to complete the transformation of the Zimbabwe Investment Authority into a full service Investment Promotion Authority from a simple licensing and facilitating board by the end of the year.

The transformation includes the operationalisation of the one-stop-shop (OSS) investment centre including the appointment of a new board and an overhaul of the authority’s structure for it to effectively facilitate investment.

The new ZIA functions will include marketing, operations, investment facilitation, investment tracking and after-care of established investors.

Apart from appointing a new board and changing the ZIA structure, Government will streamline investment approval processes to meet the proposed five-day approval target and even aim for less than five-days.

Government is angling to correct some of the weaknesses of the current OSS set up which include lack of buy-in from stakeholders, the OSS was not properly integrated in the ZIA structure hence it was operating as an island within the authority.

There is no clear reporting structure for the OSS seconded officials who were not given powers to make decisions.

The current ZIA board is not fully constituted as it only has seven members out of the required 11, with a narrow skills mix.

Under the new thrust, Ministry of Macro-Economic Planning and Investment Promotion officials will relinquish power and turf by delegating investment processing authority to their staff seconded at the OSS investment centre to speedily process applications for investment.

Government will also deliver an omnibus Act that will give investment direction and clarity to all investment related matters in particular a new ZIA to regulate, coordinate and promote all national investments.

These changes are contained in the recommendations to be presented to Cabinet in the near future on the transformation of ZIA.

The Ministry of Macro-Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Deputy Minister Monica Mutsvangwa told delegates at the Operationalisation of the OSS investment centre a workshop yesterday that an effective OSS will ensure a smooth flow of investment which will feed into economic growth.

She said there is dire need to operationalise the OSS investment centre if the economy is to grow by 7,2 percent from the current 1,5 percent per annum as espoused in the economic blueprint, Zim-Asset.

“We need to make it clear that Zimbabwe like most developing countries does not have adequate domestic capital to propel economic growth and development and this necessitates the need to adopt measures to attract capital from external sources,” said Deputy Minister Mutsvangwa.

“Given the growing number of countries showing intention to invest in Zimbabwe, there is need for deliberate on targeted interventions to ensure that there is an investor friendly environment.

“It is the function of the One Stop Investment Centre we are finalising here today to create a very conducive investment climate for both domestic and foreign direct investment.

“This will improve our doing business index which is currently unsatisfactory hence this meeting today,” she said.

The meeting’s objectives included deliberating and coming up with a full service OSS which is visible, relevant and effective in co-ordinating, attracting, tracking and retaining investments.

The recommendations from the meeting will be presented to Cabinet which will pave the way for the transformation of the authority.

“I envisage a new transformed ZIA and operational OSS that will be the first port of call for all foreign and joint venture investors like the (Nigerian billionaire Aliko) Dangotes and other delegations that visit this country for investment purposes.

The transformation will also include coming up with legislative and institutional arrangements that attract investments.

Vietnam recorded an increased inflow of $9,2 billion in 2014 from $8,9 billion in 2013 as a result of, among other things, the revision of its law on investment which streamlines registration procedures and shortens the time-frame to issue an Enterprise Registration Certificate while Oman’s FDI shot up by 90 percent after the introduction of the country’s OSS.

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