Tendai Mugabe in DUBAI, United Arab Emirates
A high-powered business delegation from the United Arab Emirates will soon visit Zimbabwe to assess business prospects offered by the country under the new dispensation, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube has said.
The expected visit follows President Mnangagwa’s tour of the United Arab Emirates during which he marketed Zimbabwe to potential investors at the just-ended 5th Global Business Forum on Africa.
Speaking to journalists after a panel discussion on rethinking business in Zimbabwe, Prof Ncube said the country was addressing concerns raised by investors around facilitating the ease of doing business.
“We expect a delegation from Dubai to visit Zimbabwe soon,” said Prof Ncube.
“We have had conversations with Government officials who have assured us that they will send a delegation to look deep into the opportunities in Zimbabwe to invest in.
“Zimbabwe is open for business. Zimbabwe is reforming so as to lower risks. Zimbabwe is putting in place tax incentives and other incentives, including the environment to do business, for investors to come.”
On ease of doing business, Prof Ncube said: “We are resolving all the issues that investors are concerned about.
“The concerns from the investors were; do we have enough incentives and have we dealt with the liquidity issues and how about the issue of power and power imports?
“My answer was that the power shortage was really caused by drought and of course the power outages are also an opportunity for investment in solar energy and other power production strategies. Sometimes it is a crisis, but at times it is also an opportunity.”
Prof Ncube said the country had introduced its own currency to deal with liquidity challenges arising from the previous use of foreign currency.
“If you use foreign currency, you don’t have the leeway or flexibility, but now we do and we are able to resolve liquidity issues,” he said.
“We are also generating enough foreign currency into Zimbabwe.”
Prof Ncube said there was potential for strong business synergies between Zimbabwe and the UAE in various sectors of the economy.
He said Zimbabwe had a lot to learn from the UAE, which was also keen to invest in various fields.
“There is a lot to learn from UAE in terms of infrastructure development and being a global hub,” he said.
“They have a great airline, Emirates, but there is also a great opportunity for investment partnership as Zimbabwe.
“They are one of the biggest buyers of our gold and diamonds. They are also keen to invest in the tourism sector, pharmaceutical sector and the textile industry in Zimbabwe and also in the mining sector, so we see potential in all these areas.”
Zimbabwe intended to lure cash-rich investors from UAE to exploit opportunities in mining, tourism and manufacturing when it engaged them at the 5th Global Business Forum on Africa 2019.
The GBF Africa forum encourages international revenue flows into Africa by engaging decision-makers on the global investment scene.
The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry organised GBF Africa 2019 under the theme, “Scale Up Africa”, which underscored the centrality of cross-border cooperation in supporting and scaling up Africa’s next phase of sustainable economic growth and development.