Source: Private sector reforms stepped up | The Financial Gazette May 24, 2018
GOVERNMENT is implementing private sector reforms to improve ease of doing business to boost local and foreign investment, Energy Minister Simon Khaya Moyo has said.
Speaking at the launch of the Zuva Petroleum and New York Stock Exchange-listed Valvoline Inc partnership last Thursday, Moyo said Zimbabwe’s competitiveness as an economy and investment destination was not attractive, hence the need to intensify reforms.
“To adequately exploit investment opportunities in Zimbabwe, government is implementing various reforms across the private sector to improve ease of doing business and create a robust private sector which fosters growth and sustainable development,” Khaya Moyo said.
The reforms are targeted at improving regulatory and bureaucratic systems, trading across borders, starting a business, protecting minority investors, obtaining credit and registering a property.
“The main objectives of the reforms are to improve the business environment to boost local and foreign investment, reduce cost, enhance the ease of doing business and create value for money,” he said.
The partnership between Zuva Petroleum and Valvoline Inc will result in the introduction of a new line of high performance lubricants in the Zimbabwean market.
Khaya Moyo said Zimbabwe had so far received foreign direct investment pledges of over $11 billion and government “highly expects that these will soon translate to industry re-capacitation and job creation”.
“To our friends from Valvoline, we would like to assure you that your investment in Zimbabwe is not only safe, but will be a profitable one,” the minister said.
According to the latest World Bank Ease of Doing Business rankings, Zimbabwe only edged up to 159 from 161 out of 190 countries, scoring 48,47 percent out of a possible 100 percent a 0,80 percent increase from 47,6 percent recorded last year.
The 2018 World Bank report, which captures the period January to December 2017, shows that Zimbabwe recorded three positive reforms in getting credit, registering and protecting minority investors since November last year when Emmerson Mnangagwa became President.
A high ease of doing business ranking means the regulatory environment is conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm.
Zimbabwe was ranked 180 out of 190 on starting a business, scoring 59,3 percent ― a 10,4 percent improvement from last year. The country scored 175 on dealing with construction permits at 44,7 percent.
On property registration, the country was ranked 108 with 58,2 percent, a 0,54 percent improvement from last year while on electricity installation, it was ranked 161 out of the 190 countries, scoring 44,9 percent, a 1,09 percent improvement from last year. To obtain to credit, the country was ranked 105 at 45 percent ― a five percent decline from last year.
Zimbabwe was ranked 89 on protecting minority investors at 53,3 percent and 143 on paying tax at 58,8 percent.
On trading across borders, the country was ranked 153 with a score of 55,4 percent ― same as last year; while enforcing contracts came in on position 166 at 38,7 percent. On resolving insolvency, the country was placed on position 155 with a mark of 26,2 percent ― a 0,87 percent increase from last year.