Government is working on a raft of measures to address challenges that have been hindering increased participation of indigenous Zimbabweans in the local economy, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa said on Monday. Minister Chinamasa told a press briefing that increased participation of locals in the economy was a key enabler to economic growth.
“Foreign investment will come to complement what local participants are doing. The ministry (of Finance) is going to address those bottleneck issues where we think we need to nurture and enhance local participation in our economy,” he said.
“A lot of models are going to be worked out so that we enhance local participation in our economy.” Minister Chinamasa said some of the challenges included lack of funding and insufficient entrepreneurship skills. “Those are the issues as we go forward we are going to have to tackle and find creative ways of addressing them,” he said.
Speaking at the same event, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Dr John Mangudya said it was crucial for Zimbabwe to improve on domestic investment. “Investment is not only foreign investment, we are talking about both domestic and foreign investment, they are all needed. In fact when an economy has got more domestic investment it means we keep more money in the economy,” he said.
Zimbabwe has already crafted laws including the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act meant to increase the participation of locals in the mainstream economy. But, due to limited funding, many locals have failed to penetrate into the mainstream economy.
On top of trying to increase domestic investment, government is also working on a new 100 day Action Plan to improve the ease of doing business in the country and in turn attract more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
Government has set a target of the first quarter of this year to achieve key reforms that will improve the ease of doing business. Some of the reforms include amending the Companies Act, Shop licencing Act and the Procurement Act while also aiming to reduce the days it takes to register a business from 30 days to between 10 and 15 days.
FDI into Zimbabwe has been low over the years owing to a number of reasons including portrayal of the country as an unsafe investment destination by Western media. Investors have also been shunning Zimbabwe due to the negative view of the indigenisation laws the country is implementing. — New Ziana.