The World Bank says ongoing reforms to doing business conditions in Zimbabwe are critical for progress towards achieving goals enunciated in Government’s medium term plan, Zim-Asset, through elimination challenges faced private sector.
World Bank country director for Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Swaziland Lesotho and South Africa Gwang Zhe Chen said from the bank’s economic update bulletin launched on Wednesday, the environment in which businesses operate is constrained by many challenges, thereby limiting their ability to create new jobs.
“Without the reforms that Government has identified and will be undertaking within this process, the goals of Zim-Asset will likely remain unfulfilled because the relatively low levels of private sector investment will strangle businesses that would otherwise be successful,” Mr Zhe Chen said.
He said failure by private sector companies to attain viability would mean contracting sources of revenue for Government. The 100 RRI doing business reforms are being spear-headed by the Office of the President and Cabinet.
Speaking during the launch of the second phase of the 100-day rapid results initiative, the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda said reforms were key for global competitiveness, improving Zimbabwe’s position on the World Bank global doing business rankings to attract investment.
The first 100-day RRI for doing business reforms centred on conceptualising the reforms, engaging with stakeholders to determine what would be optimal and drafting new laws and amendment to existing laws and subsidiary rules that would provide legal ground for the reforms.
During the second phase, Government will enact the laws, operationalise and implement the laws, institutionalFrom Page B2
reorientation and educating the public on the reform agenda.
“These are huge tasks that would ordinarily take a lot of time and effort. For taking on this mammoth assignment, I commend you and wish you the very best,” Mr Zhe Chen said.
Mr Zhe Chen said the timing for the reform process was appropriate considering that data collection for the next doing business report, which will come out in October will be completed in May, giving Zimbabwe an opportunity to improve its raking riding on credit from the ongoing reforms.
“Having witnessed the dedication of various stakeholders, I will urge that all the technical working groups continue to push for their efforts to translate into actual results that in turn bear abundant fruit in the next doing business report,” he said.
Mr Zhe Chen said the World Bank’s will not only offer technical support to the technical working groups to ensure delivery of targets of action plans, but also technical support to enable implementation and financial support to develop some of the requisite technology platforms.
“From our considerable experience working on business reforms across all the developing world, we know that reforms create momentum for further reforms and we are happy to partner with you in this journey,” Mr Zhe Chen said.
He pledged the World Bank’s support for the reform process to improve the investment climate, enhance access to credit for entrepreneurs and ensure that Zimbabwe achieves recognition as a prime investment destination.