Zimbabwe should engage China, with about US$36 billion for investment in special economic zones, to attracting foreign investment to resuscitate critical sectors of the economy, a senior Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa official said.
Presenting a paper on value chains and their roles in economic development at this year’s edition of the Zimtrade Exporters Conference in Harare last week, Comesa secretary-general Dr Sindiso Ngwenya said this country could court successful economies such as China for investment.
The first step would be the consolidation of special economic zones, which are areas designed to export goods and provide employment while they are exempted from certain taxes and quota laws meant to make goods manufactured in those zones fetch competitive global prices.
“In China, Shenzhen is a success story of a special economic zone which was established in the 80s and by 1994 the city was accounting for 35 percent of total Chinese exports, Zimbabwe should therefore go the SEZ route in order to revive critical sectors.
“Zimbabwe, therefore, needs to engage China to get that investment which can be channelled towards establishment and rehabilitation of power plants and revival of the manufacturing sector,” he said.
Mr Ngwenya said value addition was an effective strategy that would help Zimbabwe capture its fair share of the global market.
“Even the country’s vast minerals are not fetching enough revenue on the global market because they are exported in their raw state,” he added.
Mr Ngwenya added that in order to realise meaningful economic development there is also need to issue Diaspora bonds so that locals living abroad can participate in rebuilding the economy.
Funds mobilised can then be channelled towards infrastructural rehabilitation such as road dualisation among other critical infrastructural needs.