FDI tops $250m in 2011

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Economic Planning and Investment Promotion minister Tapiwa Mashakada says the country managed to attract $250 million in foreign direct investment (FDI), which was above the $105 secured in 2010.

Mashakada said the development comes at a time when the One-Stop Shop (OSS) performed reasonablY with a number of green-field projects having been approved.

The government launched OSS in December 2010 to shorten the investment approval process from 96 days to five days.

He said the OSS operated against the backdrop of a global economic crisis that had a negative impact on several European countries especially Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain.

“I can say Zimbabwe performed fairly well,” said Mashakada. “The investment was largely in green-field projects.”

According to Mashakada $2 billion worth of projects were approved last year, but they were yet to be implemented.

“Consumer facing industries such as telecommunications and mobile performed well. The retail sector witnessed Pick‘n’Pay coming back to Zimbabwe together with Investec,” he said.

He however said the indigenisation law remained the most challenging legislation confronting investors.

“Private equity investors and fund managers are upbeat about investment in Zimbabwe, but are put off by the 51% requirement,” he said.

Mashakada said he expected the investment and economic environment to improve as well as the doing business indicators.

The OSS is expected to increase the country’s FDI to 20% of gross domestic product after streamlining the investment approval process.

More than five government departments and agencies involved in the processing of investment applications are now operating under one roof at the Zimbabwe Investment Authority centre.

Mashakada also said the OSS would enhance the country’s competitiveness as a prime investment destination in addition to the tremendous opportunities it has on offer in all economic sectors.

The government expected investments to increase four times in the next five years by 2015 and that means FDI inflows will be around $4 billion per annum.