THE investment levels in the country cannot sustain the aspirations of the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset) and there is need for realignment of policies to improve the country as an investment destination, a parliamentary portfolio committee has said.
BY VICTORIA MTOMBA
ZimAsset is a five-year economic blueprint that is aimed at creating 2,2 million jobs, ensure food security and improve infrastructure as well as social services in the country.
The Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs said in a report to Parliament that the country has been failing to attract foreign direct investment due to sanctions as well as policy inconsistencies on the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act.
The committee is chaired by Epworth legislator and Zanu PF member Amos Midzi.
“In a nutshell, as it stands, the investment levels are not sufficient to sustain aspirations of the Zim-Asset. Therefore, there is need for a cognitive paradigm realignment of investment discourse that deliberately and intentionally makes the country a favourable destination,” the committee said in a report titled, First Report of the Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs on Attracting Foreign Direct Investment.
The committee said Zimbabwe has to re-engage western nations for the removal of sanctions and targeted measures.
According to submission by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the US’ enactment of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001, multilateral financial restrictions were imposed and International Monetary Fund, World Bank and other multilateral lending institutions could not extend loans to Zimbabwe.
The Zimbabwe Investment Authority said inconsistencies in government policy have made Zimbabwe an unattractive destination in spite of the abundant opportunities available.
The Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment said the economic empowerment programme was never meant to dissuade foreign direct investment inflows, but to enable the majority of the people to participate in the economy.
“The government should clarify, simplify and do away with policy inconsistencies where the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act is concerned. The government should honour the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements and also provide framework that guarantees security on investments,” the committee said.
It said transparency and good corporate governance in public and private sectors is critical in boosting confidence for investors.
Zimbabwe has been lagging behind in attracting foreign direct investments since 2009 and has not surpassed half a billion in foreign direct investments since, although the figure has been on the rise to $410 million last year from $65 million in 2009.