Zim en­joys un­prece­dented in­vestor con­fi­dence

The Manica Post - - Comment & Feedback -

THE phrase “Zim­babwe is open for busi­ness” has been res­onat­ing from Zim­babwe’s high of­fices for a few months now, gen­er­at­ing a lot of in­ter­est from in­vestors, both lo­cal and for­eign.

Not only has Pres­i­dent Emmerson Mnangagwa made sig­nif­i­cant strides to set the econ­omy on a re­cov­ery tra­jec­tory, he has also been knock­ing on sev­eral doors and the re­sponses have been en­cour­ag­ing.

In Africa, he has been on re-en­gage­ment vis­its to Botswana, Zam­bia, Mozam­bique, South Africa and An­gola.

But his trip to Davos in Switzer­land, for the 48th ses­sion of the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum was by far the most sig­nif­i­cant break­through, where he be­came the first Zim­bab­wean Pres­i­dent to at­tend the in­ter­na­tional event for global lead­ers.

This is where the whole world re­al­ized that Zim­babwe is open for busi­ness.

Af­ter al­most two decades in iso­la­tion, it is pleas­ing to note that Zim­babwe has started to re­ceive some much-awaited recog­ni­tion from in­vestors.

The Pres­i­dent has been walk­ing the talk and mak­ing sure that Zim­babwe is in­deed open for busi­ness.

His eco­nomic re­cov­ery strate­gies in­clude job cre­ation, in­vest­ment pro­mo­tion, the stim­u­la­tion of in­dus­trial pro­duc­tion, re -en­gage­ment with the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity and clamp­ing down on ram­pant cor­rup­tion.

And this is what in­vestors re­ally look for – A safe place to put their money.

Ac­cord­ing to the Pres­i­dent, the coun­try has to date at­tracted ap­prox­i­mately $7 bil­lion worth of in­vest­ment com­mit­ment, and is well on its way to­wards get­ting much more.

For a coun­try that has been des- per­ate for in­vest­ment to grow the econ­omy, that fig­ure presents a whole new fu­ture for us. Even if it might take time for that money to start trick­ling into the econ­omy, the show of con­fi­dence by in­vestors goes a long way.

While we wait for th­ese funds to start flow­ing, there is a lot more go­ing on that shows that this might not be just fig­ures be­ing thrown around.

Just last week, Pres­i­dent Mnangagwa of­fi­cially opened the $40 mil­lion re­fin­ery plant at Wil­low­ton Zim­babwe in Mutare. That plant is one of the largest in­vest­ments to come into Zim­babwe’s strug­gling man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try. But that is not the only one. This came hard on the heels of the com­mis­sion­ing of Nes­tle Zim­babwe’s state of the art Cremora fill­ing and pack­ag­ing plant in Harare.

Of note is that th­ese com­pa­nies had con­fi­dence in Zim­babwe even be­fore we had con­fi­dence in our­selves.

In the case of Wil­low­ton, the com­pany started op­er­at­ing in Mutare in 2016, at a time when Zim­babwe still had dra­co­nian laws which made it dif­fi­cult for com­pa­nies in the man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try to op­er­ate com­pet­i­tively.

While many lo­cal com­pa­nies were opt­ing to im­port fin­ished goods, Wil­low­ton was bring­ing life into the dead in­dus­try in Man­i­ca­land. And now, with the com­ing in of the new dis­pen­sa­tion, their act of faith is about to bear sweet fruit. The same can be said for Nes­tle. We just hope that ev­ery sin­gle of­fi­cial in the Zim­bab­wean Gov­ern­ment will con­tinue to pull in the same di­rec­tion as the Pres­i­dent.

Then we can achieve what we have all been hop­ing for all along.

As the Pres­i­dent said last week: “Our coun­try is primed for eco­nomic growth and suc­cess is in­evitable. Let us run the race and reach the goal.”

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