NEW Chinese investors are willing to invest in Zimbabwe, but are wary of the Indigenisation Act, a prominent Chinese businessman has said.
BY VICTORIA MTOMBA
The official, who declined to be named, said the country had close to 200 Chinese companies and most of them had complied with Indigenisation Act.
“Right now, the policy of indigenisation is not clear. The majority of older Chinese-owned companies in Zimbabwe have already submitted indigenisation plans, but the issue has to deal with new Chinese-owned companies. Some of the new investors that have come in, or want to come in, are not sure of the indigenisation policy. We do not know if government will give these companies any extension to submit indigenisation plans,” the source said.
An official from the Chinese business community said the majority of Chinese-owned companies in Zimbabwe had submitted indigenisation plans, but the problem had to do with new companies.
The source said there was also the issue of the agreement signed in 1996 between Zimbabwe and China, to where the Chinese business community wanted to know whether it would be considered.
“We want to be in Zimbabwe, but new investors need time to understand the law and policies,” he said.
China is Zimbabwe’s major business partner and is a big market for mineral resources and tobacco. Zimbabwe last year signed investment deals with the Asian giant, covering various sectors of the economy.
Meanwhile, France’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe and Malawi, Laurent Delahousse, has said all French companies operating in the country were compliant with the Indigenisation law and that there were around 15 French companies in the country.
“To my knowledge, French companies are all already compliant or have already presented their indigenisation plans,” he said.