All signs point to FDI in­crease in 2018

The Manica Post - - Farming/business - Kudzanai Gerede Busi­ness Cor­re­spon­dent

FOL­LOW­ING Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa’s maiden visit to the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum in Davos, Switzer­land last week, the coun­try is poised for an im­prove­ment in For­eign Di­rect In­vest­ment in­flows as the Zim­bab­wean leader grabbed the op­por­tu­nity to present a pos­i­tive nar­ra­tive for the coun­try dur­ing var­i­ous meet­ings with key fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions rep­re­sen­ta­tives, and in­ter­views on ma­jor me­dia plat­forms spread­ing the mes­sage — Zim­babwe is ready for busi­ness.

The meet­ing with the In­ter­na­tional Mone­tary Fund chief, Chris­tine Lar­gade last Thurs­day was the ma­jor high­light as she wel­comed the Pres­i­dent’s com­mit­ment to sta­bil­is­ing the Zim­bab­wean econ­omy and work­ing to­wards nor­mal­i­sa­tion of re­la­tions with the fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion.

Af­ter the meet­ings Lar­gade took to Tweeter stat­ing, “This was an op­por­tu­nity to share views on ways to ad­dress the se­vere eco­nomic chal­lenges that Zim­babwe is fac­ing and how the IMF can help.”

Zim­babwe has not ac­cessed ex­ter­nal cap­i­tal in­jec­tion from In­ter­na­tional lenders since 1999 fol­low­ing years of in­ter­na­tional iso­la­tion un­der for­mer Pres­i­dent Robert Mu­gabe and fail­ure to hon­our its debt obli­ga­tions to IMF, World Bank and the Africa De­vel­op­ment Bank.

FDI fig­ures have been re­ced­ing prompt­ing the need for reen­gage­ment with the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity.

In 2016, the coun­try cleared 15 yearold fi­nan­cial ar­rears to the IMF and re­la­tions are ex­pected to strengthen with the new ad­min­is­tra­tion.

An­a­lysts are buoy­ant that the Davos meet­ings came at an op­por­tune time when the coun­try had just fi­nalised its Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zones and the Ease of Do­ing Busi­ness re­forms which were es­sen­tial for in­vest­ment at­trac­tion.

Speak­ing at the Con­fed­er­a­tion of Zim­babwe In­dus­tries Eco­nomic Out­look Sym­po­sium in Harare on Tuesday, Zim­babwe In­vest­ment Author­ity (ZIA) head of op­er­a­tions Si­choni Takoleza said the coun­try is geared for mas­sive in­vest­ment this year with ap­provals for in­vest­ment pro­pos­als al­ready show­ing the coun­try can reach US$ 2.5 bil­lion by year end.

“The new dis­pen­sa­tion proves the right trac­tion for FDI led growth in the wake of pos­i­tive at­ti­tude al­ready to­wards busi­ness by the Govern­ment. This shows Zim­babwe is now open for busi­ness. Given the ob­served de­vel­op­ments in the in­vest­ment en­vi­ron­ment, we ex­pect ap­provals to in­crease this year and to record above US$ 2.5 bil­lion in 2018,” he said.

This year so far, a strong South African del­e­ga­tion from the In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (IDC) came last week to meet vice Pres­i­dent Con­stantino Chi­wenga to com­mit in­vest­ment in var­i­ous in­dus­trial ar­eas of the econ­omy.

Ear­lier, South African busi­ness ty­coon, Mr Robert Matana Gumede who owns the Guma Group came into the coun­try to ce­ment a US$ 1.2 bil­lion deal in sec­tors such as min­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to ZIA, in­vest­ment ap­provals signed last year that will com­mence op­er­a­tions this year are highly con­cen­trated in min­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tors amount­ing to US$ 576 mil­lion and US$ 488 mil­lion re­spec­tively, while en­ergy ser­vices and con­struc­tion to­talled US$ 162 mil­lion, US$ 153 mil­lion and US$ 106 mil­lion re­spec­tively, with more ex­pected through the course of the year.

Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa

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