Sydney Kawadza in Cairo, Egypt
An interim board tasked to establish the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Authority is assessing more than 50 investment applications which it will forward to President Mnangagwa for approval.
The interim arrangement has seen departments directly involved in serving investors coming together while ZIDA will facilitate investments under one roof, as Zimbabwe intensifies efforts to attract foreign direct investment (FDI).
The provisional measures include bringing under one roof immigration, police, and representatives from various ministries.
Speaking on the side-lines of the inaugural Intra African Trade Fair here, Special Adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Ambassador Stuart Comberbach said more companies were showing interest to set up shop in Zimbabwe.
“What we cannot do at the moment is put value to the applications that are being assessed for approval but what I can confirm is that investment projects that have been approved have reached US$5,1 billion, so you should see some of these materialising in the early part of next year,” he said.
Ambassador Comberbach said the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Ministry had taken a cue from President Mnangagwa’s mantra that Zimbabwe was open for business hence the thrust in Government’s foreign policy is to seriously to promote trade beyond the country’s borders.
“There is serious focus for our embassies and missions to really put their weight behind the economic diplomacy, diplomacy which is not only promoting trade but also looking for investment.”
The policy, he said, would also see embassies and missions marketing Zimbabwe and putting meaning to President Mnangagwa’s “Zimbabwe is Open for Business” mantra.
Ambassador Comberbach said Zimbabwe was attending the IATF 2018 to enhance trade and investment promotion for the country.
The IATF 2018, running from December 11 to 17, is the first large-scale event to promote an increase in trade between African nations as per the single-African market concept detailed in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
President Mnangagwa joined 48 other African Heads of States in Kigali, Rwanda in March this year to sign the AfCFTA.
The IATF 2018 is being organized by Afreximbank in partnership with the AU while Egypt’s Export Development Authority is hosting the event.
Zimbabwe is also represented by a high-powered delegation – including four Government departments, 25 companies, several parastatals and business support organisations.
Industry and Commerce Minister Nqobizitha Malanganiso Ndlovu is leading the Zimbabwean delegation made up of officials from the Office of the Presidency and Cabinet and the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry.
Other Government departments including the ZimTrade, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, Zimbabwe Special Economic Zones Authority and Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency are part of the delegation.
Business Support Organisations are Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries and the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show Society exhibitors include the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Mines, Zimbabwe International Trade Fair among others including the CBZ Holdings, Tobacco Research Board, ZFC Ltd, Sable Chemicals Industry and Boltgas International (PVT) Ltd.
The AfCFTA aims at increasing intra-African trade on the Internet, B2B, also known as e-biz, the exchange of products, services or information (e-commerce) between businesses, rather than between businesses and consumers.