THE Ministry of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion has launched an investment handbook on Zimbabwe that profiles opportunities in the domestic economy. Secretary for Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Dr Desire Sibanda said Government was committed to ensuring that key information on opportunities and procedures for doing business in the country is readily available to potential investors.
The book was launched last week in Victoria Falls, at a conference organised by the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Zimbabwe Economic Policy Analysis and Research Unit, United Nations Development Programme and Deloittes.
It was launched at the conference on the sidelines of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation under theme ‘Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Conference – Making Zimbabwe the destination of choice’.
Dr Sibanda pointed out that Zimbabwe was the only country on the continent which had not produced an investment brochure which outlines the major investment opportunities and the incentives which apply to the different sectors of the economy.
“The publication highlights some key points on why to invest in Zimbabwe. These include; irreversible socio-political and economic reforms which are highlighted in the Medium Term Plan. These (economic) reforms resulted in a new economic trajectory that led to higher economic growth in the past three years,” Dr Sibanda said.
In terms of the MTP, the Government is committed to raising foreign direct investment levels from the current 4 percent of GDP to at least 25 percent by 2015 given opportunities that exist and the investment reforms that are underway.
It also chronicles some key points on why to invest in Zimbabwe, namely regional logistics hub of Southern Africa, huge endowment of mineral wealth and an educated highly literate workforce, which have seen the country is currently ranked number one in terms of literacy rates in Africa, with an adult literacy rate of 92 percent.
Secretary for Tourism and Hospitality Industry Mrs Margaret Sangarwe said production of the handbook, to be distributed during the UNWTO General Assembly, was timely.
Zimbabwe is taking advantage of the country’s strategic location to promote the country as the hub of tourism in Southern Africa as outlined in the investment handbook.
Other areas of investment in the tourism sector include development of new tourism resorts, conference facilities, hunting safaris, transfrontier conservation areas, travel and tourism services and sustainable community-based tourism enterprises.
Opportunities in the agriculture sector, the mainstay of Zimbabwe’s economy, include mechanisation, value addition of agriculture produce, horticulture, dairy and livestock.
The infrastructure sector offers opportunities in energy, transport, water and sanitation, housing and construction, information communication and technology and SMEs.
Mining sector investment opportunities exist in exploration, resuscitation of existing companies, establishing new mines as well value addition among other areas.
Manufacturing has traditionally been one of the key drivers of the Zimbabwean economy and the sector presents numerous opportunities in the sub-sectors of food and beverages, leather and leather products, packaging and plastics, metals and metal products, textile and clothing, chemicals, ICTs and pharmaceuticals production.
A well developed and diversified financial services sector offers opportunities in insurance industry, money and capital markets development and micro- finance banking.
The publication also highlights key investment opportunities in State enterprises and parastatals opened up to private sector development. The 78 enterprises in the various sectors of the economy will be commercialised, restructured and privatised.
This comes after the Ministry of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion also launched the One-Stop Shop Investment Centre in December 2010, whose objectives are to simplify and shorten procedures and guidelines for investment proposals.