PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has directed all public sector institutions and government departments to facilitate domestic and foreign investment at all costs.
Officially opening this year’s edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Bulawayo yesterday, Mnangagwa said institutions that would be impediments in the economic growth agenda would fall by the wayside.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI/SILAS NKALA
“My administration acknowledges that actions speak louder than words. As such, I, therefore, direct all public sector office bearers in the various government ministries, departments, agencies and State enterprises to facilitate both domestic and foreign investment and also ease the business environment, at all costs,” he said.
“My government will not tolerate any form of public sector lethargy, undue delays, bottlenecks, bribery and corruption. Those that will be impediments in the economic growth agenda will fall by the wayside. Residual resistance of any kind is unacceptable.”
Mnangagwa said the mentality of “them and us” must end, adding sustainable economic growth would be achieved by “us together, government, the private sector and foreign investors alike”.
He said his administration would consistently engage with stakeholders to further improve the business operating environment.
Mnangagwa expressed gratitude to all business and industry organisations who regularly submit their sector recommendations for consideration by government.
“These have been noted and my administration will continue to ensure that Zimbabwe is a place where business feels safe and can grow and thrive. Let me equally reiterate the safety, security of investments and protection of private property rights,” he said.
Mnangagwa said his government had opened up avenues for all those who wanted to do business in the country.
“To attain this vision to have Zimbabwe become a middle-income country by 2030, decent jobs, broad-based empowerment, increased investments, free from poverty and corruption, certainly requires collaborative efforts from all stakeholders,” he said.
“Government, on its part, is implementing a plethora of reform measures to increase the validity and competitiveness of business across all sectors.”
Mnangagwa said in addition, his administration recognised the need for a comprehensive approach to attract both domestic and foreign investment in the quest to leapfrog the country’s economy to be one of the most industrialised economics in Africa.
“Mechanisms are in place to support the resuscitation, retooling, expansion and modernisation of various industries through fiscal and monetary incentives, the mobilisation of concessionary long-term financing and continuous improvement of the business environment,” he said.
Mnangagwa said in the present drive to grow the economy, agriculture, mining, manufacturing, tourism, infrastructure development, ICT and the financial services sectors were priority areas for his government.
“We realised that this cannot be done in isolation, hence, we have been on a rigorous investment promotion drive, through our re-engagement efforts to attract foreign direct investment under the ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ reality,” he said.
“To date, we have received an overwhelming response from potential investors from various destinations. Firm investment commitments have been made and government is committed to ensuring the materialisation of those negotiations which are underway.”
However, his speech was largely drowned by a poor public address system, resulting in some people seated on the terraces moving out while he was still speaking.
Several government officials, among them Cabinet ministers, Vice-Presidents Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi, as well as service chiefs and captains of industry and commerce attended the event.