THE Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) (ZIA) has approved investment projects worth $685,9 million for the full year ended December 2013 compared with $929,9 million recorded in prior year with the country continuing to underperform as a foreign investment destination.
Tarisai Mandizha,Business Reporter
According to the latest statistics from ZIA, 163 projects were approved ascompared to 172 projects in 2012 while creating employment for 8 723 people
from 9 469 in 2012.
Approved foreign investment, according to country and sector, China contributed investment worth $389,5 million in all the sectors which includes agriculture, construction, manufacturing, mining, services and tourism.
Critics blame the country’s indigenisation and empowerment policy which compels all foreign-owned firms to sell 51% to locals for declining foreign direct investments, which at peak, averaged a fifth of the economy.
The ruling Zanu PF party on the other hand blames economic sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States for this emerging trend.
China accounted for the bulk of the investment totalling $389,5 million, followed by little known island Curacao with $63,6 million mainly in the manufacturing sector, Russia with $40,1 million, South Africa with $38,9 million and United Kingdom with $34,6 million during the period under review.
The remainder was shared among other countries, including Australia, Belgium, Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Croatia, Eritrea, France, Ghana, India, Israeli, Korea, Lebanon, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistani, Serbia, Singapore, Spain, Sychelles, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, United States of America and Zambia.
The mining sector, now the mainstay of the economy, received investment worth $214,9 million for 63 projects, followed by manufacturing with $157,3 million for 62 projects, services sector was $172,4 million for 28 projects and the construction sector received $129,5 million for six projects.
Only two projects were approved in the tourism sector with a value of $3,4 million, while the transport sector had one project with a value of $5,3 million and agriculture had one project valued at $2,5 million.
In the period under review, Zimbabwe received foreign investment worth $87,2 million from seven projects which created 402 jobs, while joint ventures recorded $598,6 million from 156 projects that saw the creation of 8 321 jobs.
During the period under review, Zimbabwe export earnings totalled $324,1million.