THE Ministry of Industry and Commerce has approved 14 investment projects worth $323 million since the beginning of the year, an official has said.
BY TARISAI MANDIZHA
Appearing before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs chaired by Makonde MP Kindness Paradza (Zanu PF), the ministry’s director responsible for trade, Florence Makombe, said the 14 investment approvals included the Blue Ribbon and Bakhresa, Anchor Yeast Holdings and Lesaffre, and the Metro Peach deal, among others.
“In terms of investment, we note as a ministry so far have approved about 14 investment plans and we continue to also looking at resource mobilisation and we are happy to report that the African Development Bank, through African private sector technical assistant, has approved a $2,3 million grant that will increase the overall competitiveness of the beef and leather value chains in Matabeleland province to ensure they have access to local and export markets,” Makombe said.
She said the ministry was working on a number of initiatives to increase trade and investment in the country, which were the establishment of Special Economic Zones, the National Competitiveness Commission and the ease of doing business.
She said government was using import licensing as a tool for the resuscitation and growth of new industries.
“Additional investment initiatives are being implemented to support domestic private sector investment by other line ministries under the co-ordination of the Ministry of Macro-Economic Planning and Investment Promotion,” she said.
Makombe said the ministry was also working on promoting the development of industrial value chains, and the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries had identified 18 value chains and some of the prioritised value chains include leather sector strategy, cotton to clothing strategy 2014- 2019, pharmaceutical sector strategy, sugar value chain.
She said other initiatives for the regeneration and development of new enterprises include the Distressed and Marginalised Areas Fund and the Zimbabwe Economic and Trade Revival Facility.
Meanwhile, the World Group supported the Ease of Doing Business Initiative (EDBI) 2016 conference held in Nairobi, Kenya, from May 3 to 6.
The EDBI gathered reformers from a record 26 countries to share best practice on doing business reforms.
The conference was held under the theme Digitising Government Business and allowed participants to discuss how ICT-supportrf governments delivered services faster and more efficiently to citizens and businesses in an effort to accelerate reforms.
Zimbabwe was represented at the conference by Ambassador Mary Mubi, a senior principal director in the Office of the President.
“Zimbabwe has been focusing on some of the key benchmarks to increase participation of our entrepreneurs in growing the economy and in increasing foreign direct investment to the country,” Mubi said. “The EDBI Conference is a useful platform to share lessons and gather good examples from many parts of Africa where we can learn more to improve our business environment and ultimately the standards of living of our populations.”