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Mugabe to address investment challenges

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PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has promised investors that he will address the ease of doing business challenges in Zimbabwe, the visiting French delegation has said.

TARISAI MANDIZHA
BUSINESS REPORTER

The delegation — on a reciprocal visit after the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) visited France last year — met Mugabe on Wednesday.

Speaking at the CZI and MEDEF cocktail in Harare on Wednesday evening, head of the French delegation to Zimbabwe Gerard Wolf said the meeting with the President was very positive and the two parties openly discussed the conditions on possible investments in Zimbabwe and these guarantees were addressed during the meeting.

Wolf is the Africa Committee of MEDEF vice-chairman — a business council from France which represents 800 000 companies.

“The meeting with President Robert Mugabe was very positive; we were clear on the conditions on possible major investments in the country and these guarantees were addressed during the meeting.

“We tabled the problem of indigenisation and long-term guarantee on investment. This was addressed and will also be addressed with the ministers,” Wolf said.

The empowerment legislation stipulates that at least 51% of all
businesses operating in Zimbabwe should be in the hands of locals.
Analysts say the piece of legislation scares away potential foreign investors needed to help reboot the economy.

Speaking at the same event, CZI business council member Anthony Mandiwanza said there were three critical things — international participation, credibility of the laws of that country and the extent to which those laws protect the investment and establishment of business opportunities — which business people in Zimbabwe believe will create a positive economic turnaround.

“Number one, the Zimbabwe economy cannot be turned around without international participation. To that extent, we fully appreciated the visit by the French business delegation. The delegation has been accorded the highest status of meeting his Excellency this afternoon [Wednesday], so that speaks from the highest level possible sending a signal that we are warming up to the international community,” Mandiwanza said.

He said there was need to create the environment and opportunities that are conducive for people to come and invest in agriculture, mining, tourism, technology, services and infrastructure development
“What we are saying is those are low-hanging fruit opportunities to invest in technology replacement with minimal cost,” Mandiwanza said.

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