New investment law on cards

Government has crafted a new Bill exempting foreign investors participating in infrastructure development from complying with the country’s indigenisation and empowerment laws.

REPORT BY VICTORIA MTOMBA

According to the Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) Amendment Bill, any investment in key areas such as energy and road networks that would have been approved by the authority would not be subjected to the equity law.

Under the empowerment laws, foreign-owned companies are required to cede 51% shareholding to locals and remain with at most 49%.

“The Bill will also amend the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act to exempt new foreign investment in key infrastructure and strategic sectors from the requirements of the Act as long as such investment is licensed under the Zimbabwe Investment Authority Act,” reads the bill in part.

Economic Planning and Investment Promotion minister Tapiwa Mashakada recently said the government was working towards the harmonisation of the indigenisation and economic empowerment and investment laws amid concerns that the former was scaring investment.

“We have two conflicting pieces of legislation, that is the Indigenisation Act and the Investment Act. Cabinet approved the principles of the amendments and now the Bill has to be taken to the Cabinet committee on legislation this month,” Mashakada said.

The new Bill also seeks to bar any investor to start operations without ZIA approval.

It further aims to reduce bottlenecks in starting new business in the country.

“Any contracts they may enter into without such a licence will be voidable, and any licences and permits issued to them will be void. This will not apply to contracts entered into or licences, and permits granted before the Bill comes into force,” the Bill reads.

“And to make it easier for investors, the board will be able to allow them up to 90 days to enter into negotiations and preliminary contracts before they apply for an investment licence.”

The amendments of the Investment Act also seek to encourage increased investments in Zimbabwe by both domestic and foreign investors; to reduce administrative barriers that inhibit investments; to transform the authority by making it a one-stop shop for investors; and to ensure that all foreign investments were registered and approved by ZIA.

The changes would also re-establish export processing zones as special economic zones and industrial parks.

8 Responses to New investment law on cards

  1. Godfrey Mawoyo January 3, 2013 at 6:28 am #

    The most logical legislative l have seen from this govt in years,atleast sense is dawning on some pple as that indiginisation law was crap.Who would want to give you 51% of their hard earned cash just like that yet u were scratching yo ass when they were making that cash.The problem is now trust,who can trust this govt,l wonder.

    • zvombo January 3, 2013 at 9:10 am #

      Who told you its hard earned cash,look around you an open that fuckin brain.

  2. soulman January 3, 2013 at 10:17 am #

    whneva pple start swearin u knw unenge waperegwa! thts a brilliant legislation,it wl surely attract investment nt tht crazy indigenisation law…zim nd investment, period

  3. Mupfana weBikini January 3, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    We may have good pieces of legislation or the best constitution asi kana tisingazviteedzere everything comes to nought.

  4. soulman January 3, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    ya u r ryte, we need 2 implement all these proposals, zimbabweans r gd at tokn! really hw do u empower pple by changing share ownership frm white foreigners to blacks? serious hw doz tht create jobs? wdnt foreign investment bring jobs? pple lets b serious

  5. aezean January 5, 2013 at 6:39 am #

    51% is very applicable to mines. But not necessarily to every other sector. If someone invests in mining, they should know we have invested too, in the form of the mineral underground. But if a bank opens, or if VW opens a car assembly plant, we should just tax them appropriately without necessarily claiming 51%. That’s my opinion.

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