From Sydney Kawadza in Cairo, Egypt
A group of businesspeople from the Egypt is headed for Zimbabwe to explore the country’s business potential in various economic sectors.
The visit, slated in March next year, according to leaders of the Federation of Egyptian Industries, was inspired by the vast potential unlocked by the coming in of the Second Republic with its Zimbabwe is open for business mantra.
Representatives of the Federation said they had experienced frustrations under the previous regime which ended with Operation Restore Legacy in November last year.
In his remarks during a Zimbabwe-Egypt dinner organised by the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce in Cairo, Egypt on Wednesday night, Industry and Commerce Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu urged the Egyptian businesses to take advantage of the new dawn in Zimbabwe.
“In the New Dispensation, we want to focus mainly on economic revival and we are revisiting all our investment laws.
“We want to makes sure that there is easy of doing business and we also want, as much as possible, to minimize the cost of doing business.”
Minister Ndlovu said Government was setting institutions that will timeously process all investments coming into Zimbabwe.
“We are inviting you to consider investing in Zimbabwe on various investment opportunities that were presented to you. We really want to welcome you Zimbabwe is full of whole hearted and friendly people,” he said.
The minister said the Egyptians could take advantage of the vast investment opportunity available in Zimbabwe especially in the areas of agriculture, mining, manufacture and tourism.
He said Government had also launched the Transition Stabilisation Program which is an economy blueprint for the country.
“We are aiming at consolidating and stabilizing our macro economy. We have had challenges in the past 18 years or more and we are required to try to recover and position our economy for huge growth,” he said.
Zimbabwe and Egypt, Minister Ndlovu said, shared cordial bilateral relations although that is not translating in increased volumes of trade investment industry.
“One of the challenges we have to deal with was the transportation of products from each country to the other and we were initially of the view that using the sea will delay us.
“We thought using the sea would take about two months until one of the colleague in the room said there is now a way of transporting everything direct to Da-as-Salaam and it takes about 16 days.
“So these again are opportunities that again we can exploit as we move on. Zimbabwe is in what we call a New Dispensation. We want to facilitate attract investment into manufacturing and processing industries to grow our economy.”
Businessman Dr Sherif El Gabaly said the business delegation would visit Zambia and Zimbabwe although they would be interested in spending more time in the latter.
“We could have been comfortable sending a group of four to five people but I think a big delegation, more than 30, would be idle to make an impact on the Zimbabwean economy,” he said.
Dr El Gabaly said Egyptian businesses had embraced the mantra “Zimbabwe Is Open for Business” hence their interest to visit the country.
“Zimbabwe is open for business and of course we are also open outside. However, I hope the new Government has worked on facilitating the ease of doing business.
“I was in Zimbabwe a couple of years ago and faced a lot of challenges which I hope have been resolved ahead of our visit to your country,” he said.
The Zimbabwe-Egypt Dinner was held on the side-lines of the on-going Intra African Trade Fair and Conference at the Egypt International Exhibition Centre in Cairo, Egypt.