Sydney Kawadza Senior Writer
Government has introduced a number of initiatives to boost investment in Zimbabwe, Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha has said.
Officially opening the first-ever Chicken Inn drive-through in Greencroft, Harare on Thursday, Minister Bimha said Government support to private sector initiatives include promotion of contract and corporate farming, rebate of duty on imported capital equipment and Consignment Based Conformity Assessment.
The other support includes the establishment of the National Competitive Commission and adoption of internal devaluation by businesses.
“Government is aware of the challenge of inadequate supply of agricultural produce for use as inputs… Let me assure you that Government fully supports private sector initiatives such as contract and corporate farming which are meant to guarantee adequate supply of agricultural commodities,” he said.
Minister Bimha said in an effort to support both domestic and foreign investors, Government has decided to have capital equipment imported under rebate of duty.
“Furthermore, investors can also defer payment of VAT due on importation of capital equipment for a period of three months,” he said.
The minister said as a measure to support local businesses and reduce hazardous and sub-standard imported products, Government had sourced the services of a French company, Bureau Veritas, to carry out Consignment Based Conformity Assessment on imports of selected products.
He said Government was looking forward to concluding the establishment of the National Competitiveness Commission this year.
“The NCC’s major role will be to look at an array of factors affecting the ease of doing business and proffer possible ways of addressing them.”
Government, Minister Bimha said, was also encouraging companies to adopt internal devaluation through taking a closer look at their cost structures with a view to reducing operating costs as well as prices of finished goods and services to become more competitive.
Simbisa Brands Limited’s finance director Mr Salim Eceolaza said the Chicken Inn Drive Through in Harare is the third since their listing on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange in November last year.
“Since our humble beginnings in 1987, we have grown our monster brand Chicken Inn, we have expanded into other offerings in the food triangle, Pizza, flame-grilled chicken, carbohydrate meal coffee and dessert,” he said.
Since its listing on the ZSE, Simbisa has opened two other drive-through shops in Kenya and Mauritius while another will be opened in Bulawayo.
From a single Chicken Inn in 1987, the company has 200 outlets across Zimbabwe and regional presence of 387 quick service restaurants in 11 countries as of December 31, 2015.
Simbisa Brands Limited’s capital investments amounted to $4 million as at June 30, 2015.