‘Speed up amendment of business laws’
DELAYS in amending statutory instruments governing various economic sectors in line with recommendations gathered during the first and second 100 days under the Rapid Results Framework of the Ease of Doing Business Reforms are negating progress on setting the country as an investment hotbed, a top Government official has said.
Following the announcement of the Special Economic Zones ( SEZs) board to be chaired by former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor, Dr Gideon Gono last week, the country is now greater positioned to attract investment in the SEZs but most of its costly and time consuming legal instruments affecting business are yet to be aligned with latest flexible recommendations.
Speaking at the sidelines of the Impact of Ease of Doing Business on Current and Future Business Developments Workshop in Harare last week, Deputy Chief Secretary in the Office of the President Dr Ray Ndhlukula told Business Post that the legislature was yet to synchronise various statutory instruments with recommendations.
“With regards to administrative changes, there are quite a lot of statutory instruments to be looked at in order to comply or conform to the recommendations that we have in the transport sector, export sector and others.
“We are expanding to other sectors like manufacturing and tourism. We are satisfied with progress that has been happening. Actually, we encourage greater collaboration not only in the executive in Government but the legislative arm as well,” said Dr Ndhlukula.
The conference highlighted a lot of structural and infrastructural bottlenecks at both micro and macroeconomic levels affecting the smooth flow of business in the country such as multiplicity of state departments’ offices for registration of companies, higher cost of company registration relative to other countries and the confusion ensuing from the yet to be amended Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act clarified by the President last year.
Economic experts have however called on the Government to speed the alignment of various competitive recommendations within the existing legal framework at a time investment is expected to trickle following the announcement of the SEZ board that will provide oversight on investment matters in these areas.
Government has already identified, Mutare, Bulawayo, Lupane, Victoria Falls and Sunway city industrial park in Harare as strategic investment centres which will enjoy incentives such as tax holidays and free duty for companies that will operate from there.
“We have just created a conducive environment as far as Special Economic Zones are concerned. As you can see Minister Obert Mpofu announced the SEZ board which means we have to start working now. I am quite confident that once the environment has been created we should be able to attract investment across the world. That we are very much confident about,” added Dr Ndhlukula.