Zim attracts US$8bn investments in 2023
Wallace Ruzvidzo-Herald Reporter
Zimbabwe this year attracted investments worth US$8 billion, double the amount that had been targeted by the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA) at the beginning of the year, as the Second Republic’s economic policies continue paying huge dividends.
Investments in mining, energy and agriculture have notably been the major attraction for Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) into the country.
Multi-million as well as billion-dollar investments into the country by investors from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), China, India and Saudi Arabia, among others, have also been testament of the effectiveness of President Mnangagwa’s engagement and re-engagement drive, and the “ease of doing business” centred policies.
ZIDA chief executive Mr Tafadzwa Chinamo told The Herald yesterday that investors were warming up to Zimbabwe as it was proving to be a safe investment destination.
The interest shown by investors in Zimbabwe is so much that ZIDA would target US$15 billion worth of investments next year, he said.
“In 2023, we set out a target of US$4 billion and FDIs which is our main preoccupation was US$1,5 billion and we were also targeting domestic investments coming through ZIDA of US$500 million from companies registered under ZIDA.
“As of September we had surpassed that US$4 billion and we were touching towards US$8 billion.
“When we say US$8 billion people are going to ask where is that money, but at the stage of an investor coming in what we can only record is their commitment, you cannot go beyond that,” he said.
Mr Chinamo said the investment agency was working round the clock to ensure Zimbabwe was well promoted as a safe investment destination.
To this end, he said ZIDA had engaged more than 3 000 investors who had made enquiries on investment opportunities in the country.
“In a nutshell since our job is to attract investors into the country the first thing that we have to do is to make sure that the environment that these investors are coming into is conducive.
“We engaged with more than 3 000 investors and so you cannot achieve that with an inadequate team,” he said.
Mr Chinamo expressed confidence in ZIDA attracting US$15 billion worth of investments next year saying the target was achievable.
ZIDA was guided by Government’s priorities and targets pursuant to the attainment of Vision 2030, of which ZIDA was a vital component.
“In terms of confidence in achieving that, I believe it is achievable. There are some big-ticket projects out there, some of the PPPs that we speak when we talk about billions worth of investments so I think it s achievable.
“For next year I think it is just being very specific, we are obviously guided by Government priorities and targets for 2030 and in achieving that there are specific sectors or opportunities that Government would want realised.
“Our aim in 2024 is to really articulate the opportunities to the investor because at the end of the day it comes down to that,” he said.
ZIDA, said Mr Chinamo, had also managed to significantly lessen the time taken in setting up investors to commence their operations.
This, he said, was part of the mechanisms being employed by the agency to ensure “their stay in this country is smooth”.
“When we deployed our system on the 1st of April, we were able to bring down the time it takes for a client to start the application process to them getting the licence from upwards of 21 days, we are now down to 48 hours and in that process we will register your company, open a bank account for you and we can even register you for tax.
“We did quite a lot in terms of our after care. The bigger job once an investor is here is what are you doing to make them stay?
“We are making sure that their stay in this country is smooth and we are contacting them quite a lot so we now have got a dedicated unit that handles that,” he said.
Mr Chinamo said the recently launched mining and tourism matchmaking platforms were also helping to attract investors. As a result of the platforms, he said two big Australian mining investors were about to close significant deals.
“We have found an investor through the platform and these are very big mining concessions so we are about to close two of them and the investors are both foreign, from Australia,” he said.
Energy and agriculture matchmaking platforms are also on the cards, divulged Mr Chinamo.
“We want to go in other sectors but agriculture and energy are getting a lot of interest as well as general manufacturing. So those two are definitely coming. I would say in the first quarter of next year,” he said.
Mr Chinamo said the investment agency would next year focus on investments in mining, energy, agriculture and tourism after 2023 proved to be a success.
“From the ones that we set I would say yes, we tick all the boxes. Once the systems are there in 2024, we will achieve much more and we are setting ourselves much more ambitious targets. Obviously mining, energy, infrastructure, agriculture and tourism are going to be the areas we will be focusing on,” he said.