Zimbabwe is looking to add a new dimension to its strengthening business and economic relations with India, Asia’s third biggest economy after China and Japan, by tapping into that country’s out-sourced business.
This was said by Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA) chief executive Mr Doug Munatsi after lecturing a 15-member business delegation from India on the investment process in Zimbabwe.
Mr Munatsi said members of the Indian delegation appeared more positive about the investment climate, since 2017 and the range of investment opportunities in the country.
The country has implemented far reaching reforms, following the declaration by President Mnangagwa that Zimbabwe is open for business, as part of efforts to attract investment.
India Trade Organisation chairman Mr Asif Iqbal is leading the delegation in a tour expected to end today.
The trip was facilitated by the Zimbabwe-India Women’s Business Council, while the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) facilitated the tour.
It is a follow-up visit to the earlier one by Indian Vice President Muppavarapu Venkaihah Naidu in 2018.
Mr Munatsi said the investment authority will provide more incentives to investors in the area of jewellery and gold, areas which India has significant interest in.
But Mr Munatsi pointed out that Zimbabwe’s one stop shop investment authority was keen to promote further business and economic ties in the area of business outsourcing, where India is currently the biggest player.
To that end, Mr Munatsi said he made a proposal to the visiting delegation from India to sub-contract outsourced business to Zimbabwe, taking advantage of African country’s highly educated population.
Business process outsourcing (BPO) involves using a third-party provider company for any business process that could otherwise be done in-house, especially those that are considered to be “non-primary”.
“The Indian Ambassador invited me to address them (delegation) to tell them the process, what ZIDA can do to facilitate investment by anybody in Zimbabwe, including them from India.
“I specifically mentioned that we are looking at incentives in gold and jewellery and also if they can sub-contract outsourced India. Indians are the biggest (sub-contractors) in outsourcing business,” he said.
Mr Munatsi said he had proposed for the Indian investors to look into the potential of cooperation in the areas of outsourced business over and above their own choices for potential investments in Zimbabwe.
He said the Indian delegation, which has toured many other already thriving Indian investments in the country, including the multimillion US dollar non-alcoholic beverages operation by Varun Beverages Zimbabwe.
ZNCC President Dr Tinashe Manzungu earlier this week revealed that the visiting team of investors from Asian economic giant had targeted a cross section of sectors of the domestic economy for investment.
Dr Manzungu said the prospective investors were mainly interested in mining, agriculture and pharmaceuticals, which would see them touring Mashonaland West and Bulawayo to scout for opportunities.
Indian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Vijay Khanduja could not be reached to comment.
India has been a partner in the field of education, telecommunications and power sectors, among others.
Public sector firms in India have successfully executed projects in Zimbabwe, including Water and Power Consultancy Services (WAPCOS), HMT and Telecommunications India (TCIL).
Indian banks have also extended funding to local infrastructure projects supporting running into millions of US dollars, including over US$300 million needed for Hwange Power Station life extension, Bulawayo thermal re-powering.