Investment bodies to merge

Investment bodies to merge

Source: Investment bodies to merge | The Herald May 28, 2018

Investment bodies to merge
Dr Bimha

Africa Moyo Business Reporter
Government is working on an interim arrangement that will see departments directly involved in serving investors coming under one roof, as it emerged establishing a full-fledged Zimbabwe Investment and Development Authority (Zida) might take longer than anticipated.

Zida will be mandated to facilitate investments under one roof, as the country intensifies efforts to attract foreign direct investment (FDI).

Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development Minister Dr Mike Bimha, presented a paper to Cabinet last week, detailing the provisional measures, which among other things include bringing under one roof departments such as immigration, police, and representatives from various ministries.

Dr Bimha told The Herald Business last week that they were still consulting on the best way to set up Zida. Views recently gathered from Rwanda Development Board chief executive Clare Akamanzi, and the local private sector, would be critical in informing the establishment of Zida.

Said Dr Bimha: “There is a paper we have come up with. It has some interim arrangements of what we will do because it might take some time before we have a full-fledged Zimbabwe Investment and Development Authority.

“We are proposing some interim arrangements that should work now because we already have some investors coming. Focus areas are on how we can speed up issues to do with managing them (investors) without necessarily waiting for the set-up of Zida. We are looking at many functions that service investors to be under one roof.”

Dr Bimha said previous attempts to create a One-Stop-Shop investment centre were scuttled by lack of commitment by some departments, which sent junior officers to make critical investment decisions.

There is optimism that this time around, moves to bring the key departments that provide services to investors would be successful given the invaluable knowledge obtained from interactions with Rwandan experts. Dr Bimha said they will “tailor-make” the ideas they got from investment experts to “suit our requirements”.

“But there is a proposal to come up with interim arrangements until we finalise (Zida). Mind you, we are also consulting because we want to carry the private sector with us,” he said.

Government also wants to harmonise investment laws so as to reduce bureaucracy and cut the cost of doing business in the country, as efforts to attract investors gather pace.

Zimbabwe has eight laws governing investments, which don’t talk to each other, in a move seen as increasing the cost of investment given that statutory fees have to be paid in fulfilment of the laws.

Some of the laws governing investment are the Zimbabwe Investment Authority (Chapter 14:30); the Immigration Act (Chapter 4:02); Companies Act (Chapter 24:03); the Environment Management Act (Chapter 20:27) and the Exchange Control Act.

Other laws are the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority Act; the Special Economic Zones Act; and Joint Ventures Act.