The government will tighten laws to ensure that Zimbabwe is an investment destination of choice, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa has said.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
In his 2017 National Budget statement, Chinamasa mentioned six laws that would improve the business environment, including the Movable Property Security Interest Bill, Companies Amendment Bill, Insolvency Bill, Judicial Laws (Ease of Settling Commercial and Other Disputes) Amendment Bill, Deeds Amendment Bill and Procurement Bill.
This follows very poor ease of doing business rankings, where Zimbabwe, this year, was placed 161 out of 189 countries.
The indicators are used to analyse economic outcomes and to identify the reforms needed for a country to attract investors, such as the regulatory environment and policies.
“Government has since undertaken an extensive review of the bottlenecks and challenges that have stalled progress in the advancement of ZimAsset objectives to generate both domestic and foreign direct investment into the economy,” Chinamasa said.
“This review has informed a raft of policy, institutional, legal and regulatory reforms that are expected to significantly improve the business environment, considerably enhance access to finance for small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs, and contribute to making Zimbabwe an investment destination of choice.”
Chinamasa said the Movable Property Security Interest Bill was meant to create a collateral registry, thereby permitting SMEs to use movable assets as collateral.
He said the Companies Amendment Bill would modernise the legal regime and enhance processes for business entry, business administration and protection of minority investors.
To ensure expeditious resolution of commercial disputes, Chinamasa said the government would introduce the Judicial Laws (Ease of Settling Commercial and Other Disputes) Amendment Bill.
“A Deeds Amendment Bill will allow for electronic management of the Deeds Registry, and the government will make available the resources that will ensure effective implementation of the laws and the development of the institutions required to ensure consistent improvement of Zimbabwe’s business environment,” he said.
Chinamasa said in 2017, the government would overhaul the business registration process in order to offer entrepreneurs prompt formal business entry and introduce financial sector infrastructure to permit the use of movable assets as collateral.