American firms defy their govt◆ American investors ignore sanctions slapped on Zimbabwe ◆ As they follow the investment gravy train

Source: American firms defy their govt◆ American investors ignore sanctions slapped on Zimbabwe ◆ As they follow the investment gravy train | Sunday Mail (Business)

Tinashe Makichi
Some American investors are ignoring economic sanctions slapped on Zimbabwe by their government as they continue flooding the country seeking business opportunities in various sectors of the economy, The Sunday Mail Business can reveal.

The recent accelerated interest in Zimbabwe by some American investors is despite the world’s economic powerhouse slapping fresh targeted sanctions on President Mnangagwa’s administration.

Some foreign investors have now accepted certain Government policies they previously denounced, admitting that they were critical in addressing historical economic imbalances and have since renewed interest in Zimbabwe’s mining sector.

The negative perception by investors stemmed from the contention that Zimbabwe’s policies on issues such as the land reform programme and indigenisation and empowerment law contrasted conventional investor expectations on friendly investment conditions and property rights.

American investor and commodities firm MGG Holdings, recently announced its intention to invest at least $25 million in Zimbabwe’s mining sector, with a special focus on minerals such as chrome, cobalt, lithium, gold and coal.

The company is also looking at raising additional capital in excess of $50 million through the public market.

“Yes my interest is deep into the mining sector as well as in agriculture and manufacturing. We are also scouting for investments in the Zimbabwe mining landscape and I can confirm that we are targeting chrome, gold, coal, cobalt and lithium. On chrome, we are mainly targeting the Shurugwi area.

“MGG Advisory takes pride in its youthful and hardworking workforce and is further expanding its operations in all parts of the country. The company has an impressive footprint. In the mining sector it has a winning partnership with strategic locals and it has also recorded high success in the booming construction industry,” said MGG Holdings chairman Frederick McKoy.

The MGG Holdings officials are in the country finalising paper work on the deal.

“The group will also be scouting for investments in agriculture and the manufacturing sectors. We are in the process of raising capital. Right now we are at about $1 million, looking to go to a level of close to $25 million.”

Another American investor, Zipline, which has interests in countries like Rwanda has expressed interest to invest in upgrading Zimbabwe’s pharmaceutical industry.

The USA-based firm’s representatives were in the country last week to meet Government officials and are expected back in the next two weeks to conclude discussions on the deal.

Zipline is targeting state-owned National Pharmaceutical Company (NatPharm) through also setting up a pharmaceuticals distribution centre for the company.

“The team from America was in the country and they managed to meet Minister of Health and Child Welfare Dr David Parirenyatwa and officials from the Office of the President and Cabinet.

“They are looking at supporting NatPharm and also making investments within the pharmaceutical sectors. The investors are also going to set up a distribution centre in the country,” said a well-placed source.

“The objective for Zipline is also to partner ministry of health, National blood services Zimbabwe, NatPharm and any other medical service player who is critical in the health service delivery in the country particularly the last mile delivery service.”

Zipline designs, manufactures, and operates autonomous drones to deliver life-saving medical goods to communities that are difficult to reach due to challenging terrain or road infrastructure.

Zipline has a partnership with the Ministry of Health in Rwanda to deliver blood to remote health facilities that are often several hours’ drive from the national blood supply.

Tanzania is also partnering the company to enable urgent, reliable, responsive delivery to save lives in emergency situations and instantly alleviate stock – outs in routine situations.

Other reports say Government has also entered into a memorandum of understanding with China Railway No.3 Engineering Group (CR3) and AGCO Corporation.

AGCO, a leading United States agricultural equipment manufacturer based in Georgia, clocked revenues of $7,41 billion in 2016.

The MoU is expected to guide a new initiative in the country, focusing on training both small and large-scale farmers on measures to improve yields.

Further, the MoU will see farmers being taught about seed, fertilizer and soil testing; machine handling and preventing post-harvest losses.

Another American firm, General Electric, has expressed interest in Zimbabwe mainly in the energy sector.

The US linked company, Pepsi, run by the Indian soft drinks manufacturer, Varun Beverages under franchisee, has opened a plant to bottle its wide range of products in Zimbabwe.