Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to Zimbabwe will surpass $1 billion in 2016 on the back of deals signed with Chinese, Russian and Indian investors attributed to increased confidence, the ministry of Macro-economic Planning and Investment Promotion has projected.
BY BUSINESS REPORTER
In 2014, Zimbabwe recorded FDI inflows of $545 million, the highest since 2009. Yet the inflows were low compared to South Africa ($5,7 billion), Mozambique
($4,9 billion) and Zambia ($2,4 billion).
In a 2015 fourth quarter macro-economic bulletin, the ministry said FDI would triple in 2016 on the back of improved investor perception.
“Major deals were signed with Chinese, Russian and Indian investors and the economy is poised to receive triple FDI inflows in 2016 as a sign of increased investor confidence,” it said.
The ministry said it hosted over 60 investment delegations, FDI source markets, in 2015.
The investment delegations were from European countries such as Germany, France and Britain and Australia, China, South Africa and Russia among others.
China topped all the countries in terms of investment delegations that visited the country, the bulletin said.
“Overally, this explicitly shows that the country’s investor perception is continuously improving owing to the investment climate reforms that government is currently undertaking,” the ministry said.
Government is working on a raft of ease of doing business reforms to lure FDI. This has resulted in the country moving 16 places up the ladder to 155 out of 189 economies on the World Bank 2016 Doing Business index.
The jump was attributed to reforms on improving the availability of credit information through the introduction of credit scoring as a value added service to banks and other financial institutions. It was also attributed to the strengthening of minority investor protection by introducing provisions allowing legal practitioners to enter into contingency fee agreements with clients.
The ministry said the current 100 days rapid result initiative being championed by the Office of the President and Cabinet should see “Zimbabwe jumping many places up the ladder in the 2017 World Bank Doing Business Report”.
“Ultimately, the initiative will result in an improved investment climate relative to our regional counterparts,” the ministry said.