Africa Moyo and Elita Chikwati
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Busi Moyo yesterday had lunch with the powerful Westminster Africa Business Group in London and invited them to grab investment opportunities that abound in Zimbabwe.
The Westminster Africa Business Group, which brings together politicians and businesses in the interests of the UK and Africa, has been doing that since 1947.
Minister Moyo said Zimbabwe has various investment opportunities in mining, tourism and agriculture, ready to be exploited by shrewd investors seeking to grow their portfolios in a win-win situation.
Critically, he assured the Westminster Africa Business Group that all investments are safe as the new administration does not tolerate lawlessness.
“Opportunities are available in Zimbabwe, which has been kept a secret in Africa and only being unveiled now; the best emerging market for any investor you can think about,” said Minister Moyo.
“It has been a country which is under-capitalised and therefore it is easy at this point in time to get into the market.
“We also guarantee that in the new dispensation your investments through the Bilateral Investment (Promotion and) Protection Agreements (Bippas) are safe, and we will ensure that we stabilise.”
Minister Moyo said the agricultural sector, which has abundant opportunities in horticulture and irrigation, has already been stabilised.
Output in the tobacco and cereal sectors has increased in recent years, while farm disturbances have been stopped.
Minister Moyo said where disturbances at farms take place, the Government swiftly moves in to restore order.
“You might have heard that whatever you used to hear has stopped,” he said.
“We also believe that in the mining sector, there is quite a lot of opportunities. In fact, we are still to count how many minerals we don’t have now.
“What we believe is that we almost have everything which is available up to platinum, lithium, up to even rare earth minerals are now all in abundance.”
He also said the country would have “major deposits of gas”, and assured investors that they are guaranteed of their money
Minister Moyo added that the introduction of the Zimbabwe dollar through Statutory Instrument 142 of 2019 has already started bearing fruit, with prices stabilising.
He tickled British investors to consider Zimbabwe in particular and Africa in general, saying the continent was a huge market of 1,3 billion people and a combined GDP of about US$3,4 trillion.
“I think this is the time for the modern world, the international world to start looking seriously to Africa because there is no other continent that presents cheaper and high return on investment opportunities than Africa.
“Africa is definitely represented by a country called Zimbabwe obviously,” he said.
The US already plans to invest US$20 billion to develop Mozambique’s natural gas, an indication that Washington has embraced Africa.
The US, just like China, plans to invest US$60 billion in Africa, making it imperative for British investors to also come to the party.
“I am only expressing that if there is any time for getting into the African continent, it is now before it can be expensive to enter a market, which has been saturated and I think the European nations and UK, both bilaterally and via the EU-AU forum, have been pretty consistent in their interests and engagements with the continent,” he said.
Minister Moyo said the new dispensation was sincere on the economic and political reforms being undertaken, with various laws having been passed to improve the ease and cost of operating in Zimbabwe.
He added that the ambitious two year Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) has helped in promoting fiscal consolidation and reducing expenditure.
Minister Moyo is hopeful that the US government will “see light” and remove the ruinous sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe to allow it to turn around the economy.