HomeNewsZim in bid to lure SA investors

Zim in bid to lure SA investors

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THE Zimbabwe investment conference begins today in South Africa as the country continues in its desperate bid to lure foreign direct investment.

Victoria Mtomba in Boksburg, South AFRICA

South Africa is Zimbabwe’s largest trading partner.

Official figures show that foreign direct investments (FDI) inflows, which at peak averaged 25% of the gross domestic product (GDP), have plunged to 3% following the enactment of the empowerment law in 2008 and relations between the country and the European Union became frosty.

Treasury estimates that Zimbabwe requires a $4 billion stimulus package to grow the economy which began showing signs of slowing down last year.

According to the African Development Bank monthly report, economic growth decelerated from 10,6% in 2011 to 4,4% last year, reflecting a fragile recovery owing largely to inherent political and economic uncertainties, high debt overhang and the deteriorating infrastructure.

The two-day conference being held under the theme Invest in Zimbabwe, Building partnerships in a diversified economy, comes at a time when the country recently successfully held its constitutional referendum, paving way for much anticipated elections later this year.

The economy is, however, reeling from low investments, liquidity problems, poor infrastructure, external debt and high levels of unemployment.

In 2011 the country managed to attract FDI worth $387 million, far less than what other countries in the region have been attracting.

Topics under discussion in South Africa would include doing business in Zimbabwe, the business climate in the country and the economic outlook and future and infrastructure financing.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is expected to deliver the keynote address.

Some of the delegates expected to participate at the conference include Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, Industry and Commerce minister Welshman Ncube, Regional Integration and International Co-operation minister Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga.

Zimbabwean ambassador to South Africa, Phelekezela Mphoko, Economic Planning and Investment Promotion minister Tapiwa Mashakada and Finance minister Tendai Biti will also take part.

Zimbabwe Investment Authority board chairman Nigel Chanakira, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive officer Karikoga Kaseke, Mines minister Obert Mpofu, Energy and Power Development minister Elton Mangoma, Indigenisation and Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere, among others, are also expected at the event.
Last year the conference attracted more than 200 delegates.

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