Dutch investors demand transparency

DUTCH investors and traders want consistent and transparent policies in place before investing in Zimbabwe, an ambassador has said. Last year, Zimbabwean exports to The Netherlands totalled $66,1 million, which was mostly agricultural products. During the same year, Zimbabwe imported $15,82 million worth of goods, mainly in machinery and chemicals.

Source: Dutch investors demand transparency – NewsDay Zimbabwe September 26, 2016

BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA

Netherlands Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi, Gera Sneller told reporters at the official launch of Zimbabwe Netherlands Business Link (ZBNL) last week that many companies were interested in coming to do trade and invest in the country, but wanted a stable environment in place.

“Once a year, we as ambassadors are called back for an ambassadors’ conference. One of the things we do during that week is that we have ‘speed dating’ as it is called. During those hours, Dutch businesses can come to the ambassadors of their choice and spend 15 minutes talking to the ambassador about the possibilities. This year, all the companies that I spoke to wanted to talk about Zimbabwe,” Sneller said.

“Having said that, the first question they ask is about the business climate. They want to know whether their investments will be safe in Zimbabwe. Unfortunately, given the situation that we have at the moment, especially the many policy changes that we have seen, the inconsistency of government makes it very difficult for Dutch companies to take that last step to come and invest in Zimbabwe.”

She said Dutch businesses were known for taking commercial risks, but they needed to know that government had its policies in place, which were transparent and consistent.

The main areas for investment were in agriculture, horticulture, information and technology, and services among others. On the trading side, agricultural produce has remained a favourite.

Investment worries come on the backdrop of a reversal by government to cut the excessive wage bill and the looming introduction of bond notes.

ZBNL acting company secretary Goof de Jong said there was potential to inject hundreds of millions of dollars in investment and trade, but clarity on policies was needed.

“You need a good investment climate and what they are looking at is a good financial system, which is currently a problem. The financial system is not stable. They look at security of tenure, judiciary and good companies, they look at many factors,” de Jong said.

This comes as The Netherlands has helped officially launch the ZBNL, which will facilitate trade and investment between the two countries.

Since 1955, the council had been operating unofficially trying to boost trade between the two governments and was formally constituted in November 2011.

An agreement was signed with the embassy in February 2015 where funding was committed by the embassy to assist ZNBL to formalise its legal status as a non-profit trust and towards a working office.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 1
  • comment-avatar
    Fallenz 6 years ago

    Promises of change won’t cut it. Even “significant improvement” is insufficient. ZANU-PF has been exposed for their corruption and lies. Any changes made can be as easily rescinded, resulting in foreign investments evaporating permanently in inauditable smoke. The only way international investments will come is once ZANU-PF is taken from power, and their removal confirmed.