Zimbabwe should craft legal frameworks that are pro-investment and uphold the rule of law to attract investments, a high-powered business delegation from Switzerland has said.
Source: ‘Zim investment climate not conducive’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 27, 2016
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
The delegation from a Switzerland SME umbrella organisation, which visited Bulawayo on Tuesday to explore investment opportunities existing in various sectors of the country’s economy, said the investment climate was not conducive for business.
“At the moment, the climate for investment has to be created carefully … And a framework and conditions have to be set in a way that the lender or partner has the security of a majority shareholdership, security of stay in the company and so forth, so that you can export and return the money,” head of the delegation, Martin Suhr, told NewsDay in an interview.
“So you have to be assured of the certain kind of frameworks that are normal and ordinary for a country, where you can freely import and export. I think not so long ago, Zimbabwe has had that.”
Suhr said Zimbabwe used to have a conducive environment for investment and hoped that things would change in future.
He said Switzerland investors, when investing, would like to see the country and people benefiting from their investments.
The delegation included the head of the Swiss SME umbrella organisation, former Austrian economic consul to Switzerland, World Vision Switzerland officials and four high-profile businesspeople.
The visit was facilitated by the Association for Business in Zimbabwe (Abuz), a Bulawayo-based business association.
Abuz chief executive officer, Lucky Mlilo, said the visiting delegation was more of a fact-finding mission to explore the investment opportunities in the country because Zimbabwe has been a victim of negative perception and bad publicity.
The visit comes as Zimbabwe is desperate for foreign direct investment (FDI), but due to poor economic policies, it has lost out to regional peers like South Africa and Zambia, among others.
Last year, FDI inflows into Zimbabwe went down by 23% to $421 million from the previous year’s $545m. The 2014 numbers were the highest since the country embraced a multicurrency regime in 2009.