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Government to meet investors, policy makers

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Government plans to establish a forum to bring together investors and policy makers to deliberate on how the investment climate can be improved.

BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
ZIA Boss

This comes as part of a host of new measures by government to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) at a time the repayment of $1,8 billion arrears to the World Bank (WB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) was being considered to further unlock FDI.

Speaking at the third edition of the Zimbabwe Investor Awards hosted by Zimbabwe Investment Authority on Friday, Macro-economic Planning and Investment Promotion deputy minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the forum was part of efforts to improve the investment climate.

“We need to market this lovely and beautiful country so investors out there know. Investor forums exist in a number of African countries to let the government know the concerns of investors,” she said.

The forum comes on the heels of the establishment of the National Competitiveness Committee and the Ease of Doing business Project as government desperately seeks FDI to resuscitate the economy.

The country is plagued by
$8,1 billion in debts, which have made it difficult to unlock funds for investment projects.

Regionally, Zimbabwe is considered uncompetitive, as other countries attract on average of $6 billion per annum in FDI.

“We need to work together to make sure we address the concerns of the investors,” Mutsvangwa said.

“Furthermore, the ministry, in conjunction with other government departments and ministries, is working towards reviewing the country’s incentives structures in order to make them competitive.”

On the World Bank Doing Business 2015 website, Zimbabwe is ranked 171 out of 189 counties.

A breakdown on the World Bank ranking puts Zimbabwe at 180 in starting a business, 176 dealing with construction permits, 104 in getting credit, 180 in trading across borders and 87 in protecting minority investors.

Part of government is strategy in reviewing the country’s incentive structures and encouraging FDI will be the setting up special economic zones in order to attract further investment.

“The Civil Service Commission approved the posts of regional economists for deployment, under my ministry, to cover all provinces in Zimbabwe. The regional economists will spearhead development platforms and assist in the resuscitation of the development structures in the provinces or districts,” Mutsvangwa said.

She said that the officers will be stationed in the provinces and “promote regional planning investment initiatives”.

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