Zimbabwe hunts for SA investors

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A high-powered delegation from Zimbabwe will today and tomorrow address members of the South African business community on investment opportunities in the country as part of efforts to attract new investment.

Zimbabwe is desperate for alternative sources of foreign direct investment (FDI) to plug the gap likely to be created due to a decline in investors from Europe because of an impending recession.

Fears abound if the eurozone falls into a crisis, the world could be plunged into another recession thereby drying up traditional sources of funding and lines of credit for countries like Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwe Investment and Trade conference being held in South Africa’s Gauteng Province will give potential investors insight into the country’s economic outlook and investment climate, among other key indicators.

South Africa is Zimbabwe’s largest trading partner and the two countries already have a Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement in place.

In a statement released ahead of the conference, Economic Planning and Investment Promotion ministry permanent secretary Desire Sibanda said the platform provides an opportunity to scout for potential joint venture partnerships, export and import opportunities.

“Zimbabwe should seize the opportunity to tap FDI from within Africa since the eurozone countries and America are still in a serious debt crisis,” Sibanda said.

“The objective of the trip is to access financing and technical partnerships with South African and international financiers and developers for targeted Zimbabwe infrastructure projects.”

The conference will focus on mining, agriculture, tourism and manufacturing — sectors which are expected to drive the country’s economic growth this year and beyond.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Finance minister Tendai Biti, Economic Planning and Investment Promotion minister Tapiwa Mashakada, Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Walter Mzembi and Information Communication Technology minister Nelson Chamisa are scheduled to address the conference.

Captains of industry, including Zimplats chief executive officer Alex Mhembere, CBZ CEO John Mangudya, Zimbabwe Stock Exchange CEO Emmanuel Munyukwi and CZI president Joseph Kanyekanye, among others, will be part of the delegation.

Last week, a South African Business Forum of Zimbabwe, which seeks to address challenges faced by companies from the neigbouring country operating in Zimbabwe, was launched.

It is expected the forum will spearhead efforts to unlock investment opportunities.

South African Ambassador to Zimbabwe Vusi Mavimbela invited South African companies in the country to take part at the Gauteng conference in order to learn more about investment opportunities in Zimbabwe.