Felex Share in ABIDJAN, Cote d’lvoire
Zimbabwean business leaders attending the 2018 Africa CEO Forum here say there is a lot of appetite for investment in the country and the planned harmonisation of laws affecting the ease of doing business will bring a breakthrough for President Mnangagwa’s administration.
The business leaders, who attended different panels, said because of vast opportunities found in the country, investors wanted “to be part of the Zimbabwean story”.
This comes as Sakunda Holdings yesterday held a highly-subscribed breakfast meeting attended by investors from European, Asian and African countries.
The investors were making inquiries on how to invest in various sectors ranging from mining to manufacturing, agriculture and tourism, while others sought clarity on policy issues.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa led local chief executive officers in responding to the inquiries.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Dr John Mangudya and Special Advisor to President Mnangagwa, Ambassador Christopher Mutsvangwa also attended the breakfast meeting.
Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) chief executive Mr Richard Mubaiwa said the overwhelming response they were getting from investors was a clear sign that Zimbabwe was open for business.
“There is a lot of appetite for investment in Zimbabwe riding upon the message that Zimbabwe is open for business,” he said.
“During our interactions, we have noted that a lot of investors are interested in coming to explore opportunities. Ease of doing business is a continuous process and Government is reviewing various laws that impede that.
“We are anticipating that we are going to have an Investment Bill that looks at harmonising all the laws that affect investment in the country with a view to making it easy for investors to do business.”
ZimTrade acting chief executive Mr Allan Majuru weighed in: “A lot of interest has been shown, but during the interactions that we had, we have been advocating for investments, especially in the manufacturing sector. Our export base has shrunk and we need to grow it.”
Steward Bank chief executive Dr Lance Mambondiani said integration was key to development.
“We can’t do it alone,” he said.
“The interest is credible. Investors want to be a part of the Zimbabwean story.”
Business mogul Mr Shingai Mutasa told investors during the Sakunda Holdings breakfast meeting that “the mandate in Zimbabwe had changed.”
“It’s now an economic mandate,” he said.
“Leadership is clear about that mandate. Historical issues have been dealt with. Anyone with capital should come to Zimbabwe.”
Sakunda Holdings owner Mr Kudakwashe Tagwirei said the purpose of the breakfast meeting was to share ideas, clarify investment issues as well as intensify the campaign that Zimbabwe was open for business.
Minister Chinamasa said following the ushering in of the new dispensation, the country was now open for business.