Africa Moyo Deputy News Editor
ZIMBABWE’S efforts to transform its investment environment have been noted by the World Bank (WB), which has since named the country as one of the “top 20 improvers” in Doing Business 2020 following key regulatory improvements in five areas, which include starting a business.
This comes as Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube met World Bank Group president Mr David Malpass on the sidelines of the 74th Ordinary Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, United States of America, this week, who also praised the ongoing reforms.
Mr Malpass — who took over as the World Bank Group boss in April this year — also praised Zimbabwe’s ongoing reforms.
“Very nice to see Zimbabwean Minister of Finance @MthuliNcube at #UNGA (United Nations).
“We discussed the importance of currency + economic liberalisation, & I am encouraged by the legislative reforms under consideration,” tweeted Mr Malpass.
In a statement, the global financial institution said Zimbabwe has made it easier to start a business after improving online name search and reducing Harare Municipality business licensing fees.
Harare City Council introduced the system to allow investors to apply and get business licences online to reduce human interface and corruption.
“Zimbabwe made regulatory improvements in five areas measured by Doing Business. Zimbabwe made starting a business easier by improving online name search and reducing the Harare Municipality business licensing fee.
“More frequent sessions by the municipal building commission in Harare led to faster approval of construction permits.
“Likewise, the deeds registry implemented an internal tracking system allowing applicants to track their applications throughout the property transfer process,” said the World Bank.
The bank also said Zimbabwe introduced a new reorganisation procedure, allowing creditors to vote on the reorganisation plan, granting debtors the possibility of obtaining post-commencement finance and improving access to credit by giving secured creditors absolute priority during insolvency proceedings.
This becomes the first major endorsement of reforms that the Government has embarked upon as it seeks to attract more investors, and turnaround economic fortunes in the drive towards achieving an Upper Middle Income economy by 2030.
A naturally elated Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube tweeted; “#Zimbabwe is one of the top 20 reformers in doing business this year.”
Zimbabwe is joined by four other African countries in the top 20 namely; Togo, Kenya, Nigeria and Djibouti.
Other world countries that feature in the top 20 list are Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, China, India, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, The Kyrgyz Republic, Myanmar, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.