|Same market, different views|
|Thursday, 31 May 2012 20:41|
When it comes to investors, I have noted that there are some who see problems in this economy to the extent that they will not put a dime until things change.
They fear that investing in the local markets is like pouring water into a bottomless jar. It will go to waste.
They are adamant that the current indigenisation drive, policy uncertainties and inconsistencies in some cases and the lack of this and that are set to keep them at bay in the foreseeable future.
The lure of the glittering diamonds, the dull-looking but valuable platinum dust, and an educated and highly skilled labour force is diluted by what they see as serious challenges in the economy.
Their views are made worse by the poor and politically motivated global rankings that this country continues to receive.
Many feel this country is certainly a hold or a cell in the worst case scenario.
They will ignore the buy tag no matter how brightly it shines. They will see no good, hear no good and consider no good.
The opportunities in the economy quickly pale into insignificance the minute they hear the indigenisation jingle or some such policy that they consider to be stifling their plans.
On the other hand, we have investors, with great experience in developing markets, who know the colour of an opportunity when they see one.
These acknowledge the challenges resident in the economy but have decided not to gloat over them but to seize every fathomable opportunity.
They will not be discouraged by challenges when they have a way of going round them and extract the riches they can in an economy they consider to be hugely endowed.
They will ignore media reports and any political bad-mouthing to wiggle their way through to the opportunities.
Where others see limitations, they see abundant opportunities. Where others see darkness, they are drawn by the glimmer of light that signifies the onset of dawn.
They will certainly not be swayed by anyone who thinks otherwise.
These are the stubborn lot with a never-say-die attitude that has seen them go far.
Then there is the passive lot that feels enticed by opportunities in the Zimbabwean market but have their tails pulled backwards by certain situations and perceptions. They are thus sitting on the fence, undecided as to which way to go. Backwards? Or forwards?
This category consists of what someone said is a “waiting lot”.
“Now that the elections are over, let’s wait and see how the Global Political Agreement will work. Now that the GPA is in place let’s see how the parties will compromise on this and that. Now that the GPA has been in existence for three years let’s see what the scheduled elections will bring . . .”
This will go on and on until the day they realise that time has a funny way of not waiting for anyone.
These are the scenarios that investors, both local and international, find themselves in. In some instances, one seems to understand where these beliefs are coming from. Those seeking to be cautious may have had their fingers burnt before.
Naturally, the genetic make-up of investors is such that caution is a reflex action. But certainly there is no excuse for being overly cautious to the extent that one becomes blind to opportunities right in front of you. Zimbabwe is an awakening giant. While issues such as indigenisation need careful handling and a clear articulation of attendant issues from the investors’ perspective, the policy is certainly no excuse for investors to fold their hands and let opportunities pass by.
Mining, agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, financial services and all sectors exude immense opportunities.
That category of investors that has realised this will certainly have a beautiful story to tell while the pessimistic ones will soon have themselves to blame when reality hits.
Almost on a daily basis, planeloads of business people from South Africa are coming into the country to sign deals, explore this or that and they seize opportunities in this economy.
Ask South African Airways why they had to increase daily flights to three. It is because the demand is there and a visual assessment of the travellers will tell you these are serious businessmen and women clearly exploiting opportunities.
The fact that Zimbabwe won the bid to host the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly is telling.
The fact that in recent weeks Zimbabwe successfully hosted the Africa Travel Agencies Association conference, the mining indabas, Euromoney investment conferences, the upcoming Imara Zimbabwe conference and various trade and investment meetings locally and internationally should really send a message that this country is going somewhere and there is no stopping.
Investors should not be fooled by the temporary setbacks obtaining in the economy. The opportunities are there for those with an appetite to invest while the challenges can really be impeding for those that will allow them to.
The choice is there for investors but in reality there is no choice. Zimbabwe is the in-thing.
In God I Trust!
My email: firstname.lastname@example.org