Source: ‘Zimbabwe can learn from emerging economies,’ experts say – Sunday News Jan 22, 2017
Roberta Katunga, Senior Business Editor
ZIMBABWE can benefit more from fostering investment partnerships with emerging economies , economists have said.
Next month, the Embassy of India to Zimbabwe will be hosting an Indian business delegation in Harare seeking joint ventures and partnerships as well as distributorship.
In separate interviews, economists said it was important to implement the lessons and feedback from visiting delegations to benefit from the investment opportunities availed. Macro Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Ministry economist Mr Tatenda Zuze said the kind of ideology the country needs to adopt is from emerging economies that are promoting technology advancements, youth in business and Small and Medium Enterprises development like India.
“We can learn a lot from a country that is moving from one era to another state of the economy compared to an already developed country. India for example has invested a lot in the medical field and is one of the best in the world. This becomes a lesson to Zimbabwe as engaging countries that have managed to progress in similar situations to ones that we find ourselves in is better,” said Mr Zuze.
He said another lesson that locals can learn from India is that the country has allowed investors from different countries to come in and in turn have tapped into technologies from those countries using their own labour.
“In Zimbabwe, the unemployment rate is high which means we have abundant labour. We can then learn from countries who come into our country with advanced technology especially in the manufacturing sector so as to produce cheaper and competitive goods efficiently using our own labour,” he said.
Mr Zuze said by hosting business delegations, it allows the country to market the Zimbabwean brand and distill negative perceptions while instilling confidence in investors willing to venture into new territories.
He said most investors see potential in the country’s economy but there was a need to implement the feedback gleaned from these visits to create a more investor friendly environment.
Buy Zimbabwe economist Mr Kipson Gundani shared Mr Zuze’s sentiments on emerging economies saying as one of the members of the BRICS, India has a lot to offer Zimbabwe.
“India is a leader in certain industries like information technologies and pharmaceuticals. We can learn how they have managed to build such a gigantic industry that is ready to conquer the world market by forming partnerships with them,” said Mr Gundani.
He said a number of business delegations have come into Zimbabwe and while the scope for benefit is there, those benefits are supposed to trickle to industry with businesses being at the forefront of organising the meetings.
Mr Gundani said one of the factors that have been holding the country back in terms of growth is the fact that industry is not prepared to get into meaningful investments.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Mr Busisa Moyo said business meetings and delegations do not benefit the country if they are not structured properly.
“If we are not informed of the meetings as industry then how do we create successful ventures or organise match making meetings. Organisers and hosts of these delegations should engage local bodies like CZI and ZNCC so that we are involved and alert private sector players and our members,” said Mr Moyo.
Some of the companies that are expected in the country include leather and apparel manufacturers seeking co-production opportunities and joint ventures; meat processing industries as well as detergent laundry bar, detergent powder manufacturing lines among others.