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SA ready to scale up investment

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THE Zimbabwe Investment Authority has so far approved 67 projects worth $682 million from South African investors spanning across a number of sectors, it has emerged.

Report by Mernat Mafirakurewa

Economic Planning and Investment Promotion deputy minister Samuel Undenge told delegates attending the Zimbabwe-South Africa investment trade mission in Harare yesterday that investment by South African firms was a gateway to other regional markets.

At least 40 companies were visiting the country from South Africa to explore business opportunities.

“More investment is anticipated since Beitbridge is being considered for an industrial zone,” he said.

Undenge quashed fears that pending elections tentatively scheduled for March next year would result in a slowdown in investment flows.
“I don’t see how elections should affect investment. In any case, we do have a biletaral investment protection and promotion agreement signed with South Africa and already have investment flowing in,” he said.

Visiting South African Trade and Industry deputy minister Elizabeth Thabethe said since 2009, at the formation of the inclusive government, trade relations between the two countries had been strengthened.

“Since 2009, there has been much progress. For us Rome was not built in a day and to us this is not an event, it’s a process. If you look at the South African people that are doing business here, they are increasing. There are commentators that always say investors should not come to Zimbabwe. That has been proven otherwise,” Thabethe said.

Turning to indigenisation, Thabethe said there was nothing wrong with the process that sought to redress economic imbalances.
“The indigenisation process is nothing else than our own black economic empowerment (BEE).”

She said in South Africa government tenders were only awarded to companies that were BEE compliant.

Industry and Commerce deputy minister Mike Bimha said the government was committed to creating a conducive environment for doing business. “South Africa plays quite a pivotal role in terms of facilitation. So they probably understand us better than outsiders,” Bimha said in reference to the commitment and SA approval.

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