12 companies worth $1,8bn licensed for SEZs

Source: 12 companies worth $1,8bn licensed for SEZs | The Sunday Mail April 28, 2019

12 companies worth $1,8bn licensed for SEZs

Lincoln Towindo
Senior Reporter

Twelve private companies that have cumulative investment portfolios worth more than $1,8 billion have been licensed to operate ventures ranging from mining to beverage manufacturing in specially designated investment promotion areas.

The Zimbabwe Special Economic Zones Authority (Zimseza) said the approved projects, which have the potential to generate $600 million annually, are forecast to create 50 000 new jobs.

Government has established special economic zones (SEZs) in six areas.

Victoria Falls is now a tourism and financial hub, while Umvumela and Belmont in Bulawayo have been designated as industrial hubs alongside Kelvin and Donnington corridor, also in Bulawayo.

Beitbridge has been specially designated for logistics, while Sunway City in Harare will be modelled as a hi-tech park.

Fenhill in Mutare is now considered a dry port SEZ.

Zimseza chief executive Mr Edwin Kondo told The Sunday Mail an overwhelming number of applications are being processed.

“Yes, Zimseza has conferred SEZ status to 12 privately owned companies that are also at various stages of operationalisation.

“Statistics show a combined total investment portfolio worth US$1,78 billion, FDI (foreign direct investment) of US$885 million, DI (direct investment) US$143 million, exports US$693 million, employment creation of around 50 000 (direct 8 000 and indirect 42 000) per annum, technology and skills transfer across sectors such as mining, tourism, agriculture and others,” said Mr Kondo.

The licensed companies are involved in black granite mining, cutting and polishing; detergent manufacturing; agro-processing; beverage manufacturing; medical; energy sector; earth-moving equipment and assembly; bolts and nails; chrome mining; and lithium mining.

Mr Kondo indicated that although the statutory body received an “avalanche of enquiries and applications from foreign investors”, some of them failed to meet the set criteria.

It is believed that emphasis is on accretive businesses that have a bias for value addition.

Zimseza, Mr Kondo added, is offering fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to potential investors for a limited period of time. Some of the incentives being offered include zero-rated corporate income tax for the first five years of operation, with a corporate tax rate of 15 percent applying thereafter.

Duty-free imports on capital equipment and exemption from non-residents tax on royalties is also guaranteed.

Investors are also being offered zero-rated capital gains tax and duty-free import of raw materials that are not locally available.