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‘Business reforms should embrace local firms’

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THERE is need to take on board the concerns of local businesses when working on the ease of doing business reforms, Zimbabwe Investment Authority chief executive officer, Richard Mbaiwa has said.

BY TINOTENDA MUNYUKWI

Speaking to NewsDay on the side-lines of a business cocktail held in the capital last week, Mbaiwa said it was time to take heed of constant calls by local investors, including small to medium enterprises, to respond to their plight in sailing smoothly within the business circles.

“The local investor is facing some challenges in terms of liquidity and access to capital, which also impacts on their ability to mobilise the resources required for them to invest with the regulatory issues also affecting them. I think as we are looking at ease of doing business in foreign direct investment, we are also saying for local investors, what issues are they facing,” he said.

Mbaiwa’s calls come at a time when some requirements for local investors that include company registration, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority registration, council licensing, bank account opening coupled with the Know Your Customer requirement have since adversely affected a number of prospective local investments.

He said local investors needed special consideration because they lacked the resources to meet all the requirements expected.

“For them it is even more difficult because they might not have the financial muscle to hire consultants or people who can do the regulatory papers for them, they have to do it themselves to minimise start-up costs, so it’s important that as we talk about ease of doing business, we consider them as well,” Mbaiwa said.

He also pleaded for patience from all interested parties on the materialisation of investment projects that have already been approved but are yet to live up to fruition.

“The projects have different gestation periods, so if you are looking at capital intensive investments they might take time to consummate because no one would go through the trouble of putting together proposals and feasibility studies if they are not serious,” Mbaiwa said.

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