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Investment Authority underfunded

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The countrys investment promotion body, the Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA), is undercapitalised and plans are underway to review operational fees to reflect cost recovery, a Cabinet minister has said.

Economic Planning and Investment Promotion minister Tapiwa Mashakada said in an interview last week the authority had scaled up its investment promotion scope since 2010 through the introduction of the one-stop shop.

Hence the need for funding that is commensurate to the scale. In addition chargeable fees will be reviewed to reflect cost recovery. This should arrest the operational deficit, he said.

ZIA was set up to promote and facilitate both foreign direct investment (FDI) and local investment. It is an institution born out of the merger of the Export Processing Zones Authority and the Zimbabwe Investment Centre. This was done to create a one-stop investment shop for quicker and easier facilitation of investment.

According to the authoritys 2010 annual report released last week, it incurred a deficit for the year to December 31 2010 amounting to $171 227 and was in a net current liability position of $223 962.

These factors cast significant doubt on the authoritys ability to continue operating as a going concern, the report said.

Mashakada said the 2011 annual report would be released later. The country recorded 163 projects worth $520 million. Of the 37 project applications 17 were to mine and process gold, eight to either mine or smelt chrome and three to deal in diamonds through either mining of the mineral or polishing and cutting.

A fortnight ago Mashakada said the country managed to attract $250 million in FDI, which was above the $105 million secured in 2010.

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