via Govt to transform SPB | The Herald July 17, 2015 by Tawanda Musarurwa and Munesu Nyakudya
The Government will transform the State Procurement Board (SPB) into a standard setting agency this year as part of broader strategies to eliminate bureaucratic red-tape hindering Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows into the country, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda has said.
He also said plans are underway to move away from foreign investors going to the tendering process.
“We are also moving away from the issuance of traditional tenders possibly to be more concerned about being more investment-oriented, let’s just approve projects when they come in rather than them having to go through tender,” Dr Sibanda said.
On the occasion of the National Economic Consultative Forum (NECF)’s launch of Public Private Dialogue (PPD) Manual — an engagement mechanism to ensure more inclusive and sustainable policy reforms through a structured and participatory reform process — Dr Sibanda said Government was concerned with the low levels of FDI inflows into the country.
And the Government has already set in motion several strategies to improve FDI inflows, including the restructuring of the SPB.
“On the issue of bureaucracy vis-a-vis investment, we have been worried with the slow process in the attraction of FDI. We are doing two things at the moment, first we are transforming the State Procurement Board (SPB) into a standard setting agency before the end of the year,” said Dr Sibanda.
Earlier in February, Dr Sibanda announced the de-centralisation of tendering processes to accounting officers in various State departments.
“We are also introducing e-procurement as we are working with some other multilateral funding agencies, the World Bank and the African Development Bank.”
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) 2015 World Investment Report, Zimbabwe received FDI worth $545 million last year.
Although this was a 36 percent rise from the $400 million recorded in 2013, analysts says it is hardly adequate to meet the country’s economic growth requirements.
Zimbabwe also lags behind its counterparts in the region in terms of FDI inflows, with neighbours South Africa and Mozambique receiving $5,7 billion and $4,9 billion in new investment last year.
Dr Sibanda added that the office of the President and Cabinet will now spearhead FDI policy, including streamlining the functions of the Zimbabwe Investment Authority’s One-Stop-Shop (OSS).
“We are also going to now direct it (FDI policy) from our office. We are going to be working with the Ministry of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion and ZIA itself to actually lead the process of its transformation into an effective One-Stop-Shop before the end of the year.
“In terms of ZIA we’re saying it was a One-Stop- Shop, but it was actually just a representation of officials from particular departments, but who would again refer to those departments, so we were having delays.”