‘Mnangagwa not making right trips for investment’

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa is not attracting requisite investment deals from his foreign trips, an international business expert has said.

BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA

This comes after Mnangagwa recently led a delegation of senior officials in a series of investment-seeking meetings in Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Belarus, countries that have a track record of not investing in African economies.

In an interview with Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera, Richard Segal, an analyst in emerging markets under Manulife Asset Management, a subsidiary of Canadian financial services company Manulife Financial Corporation, said Mnangagwa was not attracting good money.

“The types of foreign trips the President (Emmerson Mnangagwa) is making either to Russia or China or to Davos (in Switzerland) aren’t going to track the longer term investment that the country (Zimbabwe) needs. It needs to focus on the types of investors that were active in the economy in the 1970s, 1980s; the ones that have been successful in other emerging markets…” he said.

“. . . as opposed to the types of investors which will buy into opportunities on a very selective basis, and also very opportunistically, seeing what they can do to get out of the situation for themselves and maybe the government, as opposed to the broader economy.”

He said with any economy in crisis such as Zimbabwe, there needs to be economic policies which are stable and coherent to attract investment.

“. . . whether it is domestic, whether it is money which has left the country which will return or whether it is foreign investors. In order to do that, you need to have something to invest in which the country does, but you also need to have stable policies and the expectation they will be stable,” Segal said.

He, however, commended government for its efforts as seen by it registering economic growth since 2017, but warned that this would have to be followed up with implementing economic and political reforms.

The Mnangagwa-led administration is currently on a foreign charm offensive in search of fresh investment to quickly stabilise the struggling economy, which is on the edge of a total meltdown.

Last month, the country was denied a request for a $1,2 billion bailout package by neighbouring South Africa.

The country had an estimated $11,5 billion external debt as at end of 2018, which make it an unattractive investment destination. The lack of will to implement political and economic reforms has also added to the country’s misery, making it somewhat of a pariah State in the view of the international community. This is particularly true for big spending countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and France that also have great influence over international financial institutions.

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