via Netherlands rules out Zim bail out – DailyNews Live 9 MAY 2014
Netherlands says it will not advance Zimbabwe funds to finance its economic plans under the “Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation” (ZimAsset).
Gera Sneller, the country’s ambassador to Zimbabwe, said the Dutch government will morally support the southern African nation, not financially.
She suggested that Zimbabwe partners private investors rather than seek rescue packages from governments.
“I have to say that I feel Zimbabwe is at a stage where the most important thing is to work with private investors not ask for aid from individual countries… it really should not be about aid” Sneller said after a courtesy call at Information minister Jonathan Moyo’s office.
“If government follows what is being reinstated… to improve the business climate, investment will come,” the envoy said.
She said Zimbabwe is a risky destination to invest at the moment.
Sneller said Dutch investors were ready to come into the country provided government clarifies policies that protect investor interests.
“Investors should have assurance that the same laws valid today will be valid tomorrow and that the same conditions should be applicable across sectors,” she said.
The investment-starved country is desperately trying to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and access international lines of credit.
Investors and financiers however are wary of its policies, particularly the indigenisation law – compelling foreigners to cede majority shareholding to black locals.
Under ZimAsset, Zimbabwe targets to create 2,2 million jobs, unlock $1,8 trillion in idle mineral reserves and grow the economy by an average seven percent annually, among other objectives, in the next four years.
“The political environment has to be stable and the investors need assurance that the government is serious about inviting them in,” Sneller said.
Australia has also said that Zimbabwe remains a risky investment destination, likening the move to swimming in the dangerous crocodile infested Zambezi river.
Matthew Neuhaus, the country’s ambassador to Zimbabwe, said the nation has a long way to go in attracting FDI.
“Investing in Zimbabwe is like swimming in the Zambezi between crocodiles and hippos,” he said, adding that “instead of policies to encourage FDI, you have chosen indigenisation especially in the mining sector”.
He said Australian investors have found it easier to do business in Zambia and Mozambique, injecting billions of dollars in investment in the economies.