FRENCH companies have vowed to stay put in Zimbabwe despite serious economic challenges facing the country.
French Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Laurent Delahousse told NewsDay in an interview yesterday that French companies were weathering out the economic challenges waiting for better opportunities in future.
BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
“What I can say is that none of these companies have expressed any interest to leave as they have decided to stay in Zimbabwe for the long term. The problems the economy is facing are looked at as short-term and each of these companies are waiting for things to improve,” Delahousse said.
“Well from the embassy side, the challenges these companies are facing are the current challenges being faced by local companies in the market. We have companies in finance and petroleum which are experiencing these short term economic challenges.”
Analysts have blamed the rampant liquidity shortages on the high trading deficit as the country was importing far more than it was exporting.
Government has put import regulations through Statutory Instrument 64 of 2016 in order to improve exports, the main source of cash.
The shortages in liquidity have seen companies struggling to re-capacitate and recapitalise their businesses.
This has also led to job losses, as workers are often the first victims when a company is in trouble.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya recently said the introduction of a multi-currency basket should have been accompanied with regulations. He said since those regulations were not in place, higher imports meant lower exports causing shortages in the market.
Zimbabwe Investment Authority chairman Nigel Chanakira confirmed that interest from French companies coming to invest in Zimbabwe has remained steady with prospects for more.
Some of the French companies currently operating in Zimbabwe include French business council MEDEF representing 800 000 companies, renowned automotive lubricant manufacturer Motul, and the biggest French company, Total. In agriculture, Limagrain is the biggest agribusiness lender in the country.
In 2016, French companies that have entered the Zimbabwean market include international agricultural rating agency Momagri Agency and Bureau Veritas a conformity compliance issuing international organisation.