Zimbabwe reaches out to foreign investors

A HIGH-POWERED Zimbabwean delegation will be off to London next week for a conference, as the investment-starved country moves to lure foreign investors.

The two-day Zimbabwe London Investment Forum, Zimdaba London 2018, which runs between March 15 and 16, brings together business leaders and investors from the United Kingdom and Europe to discuss and action investment opportunities in Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwean delegation includes seven Cabinet ministers, representatives from Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC), Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) and Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA).

According to the programme seen by NewsDay, Foreign Affairs and International Trade minister Sibusiso Moyo, SEZA board chairman, Gideon Gono and CZI president, Sifelani Jabangwe will present on the macro-investment climate in Zimbabwe from the government and private sector perspectives and how the government is addressing investor requirements, including the establishment of special economic zones and what that means in practical terms.

Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement minister Perrance Shiri and John Siko, head of Business Intelligence, Africa, Risk Advisory Group, will speak on opportunities available for investors in agriculture and what has been done to facilitate investment in the sector.

ZIA chief executive, Richard Mbaiwa, DeRisk managing director, Andrew Gaines and Exotic Capital head of Natural Resource Andrew Moorfield will present the country’s energy requirements, opportunities and measures put in place to facilitate investment into the sector.

Mines and Mining Development minister Winston Chitando will make a pitch on opportunities available for investors in the mining sector.

Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development minister Mike Bimha and ZNCC president Divine Ndhlukula will present on opportunities in the manufacturing and retail sectors.

Transport and Infrastructural Development minister Joram Gumbo and his Tourism and Hospitality Industry counterpart Prisca Mupfumira will make a presentation on the opportunities in logistics, transport and infrastructure and tourism respectively.

The delegation will also make a pitch on investment opportunities in the financial services sector and Information and Communication Technology, where Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, central bank chief, John Mangudya and PwC Africa Business Group chief operating officer, Chantele Carrington.

The conference is organised by Consolidated Africa Services and its sponsors include, among others, Exotic Capital, Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group and Bob Diamond-led Atlas Mara.

Since taking over the reins in November through a military-backed transition, President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been on a crusade to lure foreign investors, saying Zimbabwe is open for business.

The new administration has been reaching out to foreign investors, with Mnangagwa leading a Zimbabwe delegation to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January.

Foreign direct investment inflows have been plummeting from a high of $545 million in 2014 to $319 million in 2016 on the back of an unfavourable investment climate.
The new administration has promised to amend indigenisation legislation for the 51:49 threshold to apply only to diamond and platinum.

Investors are warming up to the new administration, but want to assess the investment climate after the harmonised elections coming up by August.

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