Special Economic Zones to attract more FDI

DESIRE-SIBANDATinashe Makichi Business Reporter
The approval of a Special Economic Zones framework by Government is expected to attract foreign direct investment while also establishing appropriate regulatory and policy infrastructure to enable local and regional trade to flourish, a senior Government official said.

Finance and Economic Development Head of Fiscal Policy and Investment Promotion, Dr Desire Sibanda told The Herald Business yesterday that Zimbabwe’s investment climate is improving despite being among countries that received low inflows from the global community last year.

“Over the past seven months we have received close to 50 delegations coming to scout for investment opportunities particularly in the extractive industries. We hope that this will continue as we continue to build an economy that will increase investment.

“We are working towards the creation of special economic zones. This is an economic strategy that has seen the growth of China, Singapore and other Eastern countries,” said Dr Sibanda.

Dr Sibanda said SEZs can take a variety of different forms, including Export Processing Zones which Zimbabwe implemented over the period 1995 to 2006.

The EPZ experience, which saw the creation of 205 companies and the generation of $172 million worth of investment, will be key in the provision of lessons learnt.

“SEZ will be able to channel the sources of foreign currency within the system to encourage general and wider economic activities and also encourage the acquisition of the most modern technology to increase productivity,” said Dr Sibanda.

He said Zimbabwe received $545 million actual investments by the end of 2014 which is a 36 percent increase compared to the year 2013.

Dr Sibanda said the country continues to be open for investment and Government should create dedicated structures to facilitate ongoing dialogue with stakeholders on investment climate improvements and enhancing ease of doing business.

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