Foreign investments safe in Zim — India
INDIAN captains of industry and commerce have encouraged fellow businesses to invest in Zimbabwe saying the new Government led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa has put in place measures to guarantee the safety of foreign investments.
During a one-day, “Invest in Zimbabwe” conference held here on Monday by the Diamond Association, India’s leading foreign investors urged their counterparts to look beyond India.
Mr Mukesh Kothari, the managing director of Kanku International — a multinational plastic products manufacturing company, declared Zimbabwe as one of the safest investment destinations in Africa.
“I have been to 52 African countries and I can guarantee you that Zimbabwe is the safest country in Africa. Foreign investments have been safe for a long time and with the new Government, investments are safer. This Government is a baby, this Government is only three months old and it wants to do business with the world. We must not let this opportunity pass us by,” he said.
Mr Kothari told the over 100 business delegates, all drawn from India, that Zimbabwe has numerous qualities that make it an international investor’s dream.
“There are a lot of changes happening in Zimbabwe. There are three key factors that make Zimbabwe attractive — it is safe for investments, it is safe for the investor because there is peace and rule of law, you can travel by road at night and day without being a victim of crime. And skilled labour is there. Another key factor is that Zimbabwe is aggressively working to have adequate electricity for industry,” he said.
“I wanted to set up a plastic tank manufacturing factory in Zimbabwe but I failed because of the 51-49 percent shareholding ratio but I am aware that it has been scrapped. So, I am again working to set up a plant there. There are lots of opportunities in Zimbabwe so I am inviting you to come and invest with me. You can do any business you want there, but we must make sure we employ Zimbabweans, the host country should also benefit. Let us help Zimbabwe reindustrialise.”
The president of the Navsari Diamond Association, Mr Kamlesh Malani, told the business community that he was planning to lead a business delegation to Zimbabwe soon to explore investment opportunities.
“We are coming to Zimbabwe with a business delegation anytime soon. We will write to the relevant authorities because I think it is proper that Indian business people see for themselves that Zimbabwe is not only a low crime country but a country with highly educated and skilled people. Zimbabwe is not only mineral rich, it is into agriculture, retail and manufacturing.
“Let us go and you see for yourselves the vast opportunities that are available there . Property rights are ensured. Some are asking about what happened in November last year. It was a cleansing process of all the bad things that were happening in the country. No one will ask anything from you to facilitate your investment, everything is done according to the law,” said Mr Malani. Mr Satish Gandhi, a businessman, told the meeting that investors were afraid to invest in Zimbabwe because of the false picture painted by the international media. “I think the problem we have is that the media lies about the situation in Zimbabwe. It is those lies that make investors stay away. Instead of going to Zimbabwe to see for themselves, they fall for the lies. I have been to Zimbabwe and I can tell you with certainty that Zimbabwe is a safer country than some African countries that I have visited, some have high crime rates and in others there are armed conflicts,” said Mr Gandhi.
The Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce, Raj Modi, who is here on a business visit, assured the Navsari business people that Zimbabwe was a safe haven for their investments.
“We are a new dispensation, please forget about what happened in the past and ignore the lies that you are told. Zimbabwe is open for business and we mean that. We now have foreign currency bank accounts. So, your money is safe. No one will touch your money, no one will chase you away after you have invested,” he said.
Kanku International managing director Mr Mukesh Kothari