Zim enjoys unprecedented investor confidence
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.”