President leaves for Davos
Assistant Business Editor
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa last night left Harare for Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting where he will join 50 other heads of state and government to deliberate on policies and strategies needed to address challenges facing the globe.
According to the WEF programme, President Mnangagwa will tomorrow (Tuesday) give opening remarks at a workshop centred on the theme, “Unlocking New Investment and Services Markets”.
This year’s WEF is the first global in-person leadership event since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Taking place from May 22 to 26, the meeting is centred on the theme, “History at a Turning Point: Government Policies and Business Strategies”.
In line with the theme, President Mnangagwa’s administration has already undertaken wide-ranging economic reforms with far-reaching impact, aimed at growing the economy towards upper middle income status by 2030.
The annual meeting also offers the Zimbabwean delegation an opportunity to pursue its engagement and re-engagement policy thrust that is premised on trade and investment.
It is a policy that the Second Republic has pursued since 2018 when President Mnangagwa first attended the WEF and declared that “Zimbabwe is Open for Business”.
And true to his word, the country has made significant progress in opening up the economy to investors and President Mnangagwa and his high-powered delegation will take this opportunity to highlight opportunities and exchange insights.
Before President Mnangagwa took over from the late former President Mugabe, Zimbabwe was ranked 159 out of 190 countries on the 2017 World Ease of Doing Business index.
The ranking has improved to 140, according to the 2021 World Bank annual ratings, highlighting the positive strides made by the Second Republic. The Ease of Doing Business index has, however, been discontinued globally.
President Mnangagwa will thus, once again, use this opportunity to market Zimbabwe to the world.
According to the World Economic Forum, the annual meeting offers world leaders an opportunity to “take stock of the state of the world and shape partnerships and policies for the crucial period ahead”.
World Economic Forum founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab is on record as saying there is a need to “establish an atmosphere of trust” needed to accelerate collaborative action and address multiple challenges that the world is facing including the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine which has disrupted global supply chains and sent prices, including food prices, skyrocketing.
Other topics on the agenda include rebuilding global co-operation; economic rebalancing; society, equity and global health; nature, food and climate; industry transformation; and innovation, governance and cybersecurity.
The President is accompanied by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Ambassador Frederick Shava, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube, Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza as well as Deputy Chief Secretary – Presidential Communications, Mr George Charamba.
He was seen off at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport by Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, senior Government officials and service chiefs.
Meanwhile, VP Chiwenga is the Acting President.