via Bimha to head delegation to ZTIF in London – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 25, 2015
INDUSTRY and Commerce minister Mike Bimha will head a high-powered delegation to the Zimbabwe Trade and Investment Forum (ZTIF) in London next month as the country steps up efforts to lure foreign investors.
BY NDAMU SANDU
The September 22 investment forum, to be held at Stephenson Harwood LLP offices in London, comes on the back of renewed interests by investors who see the country as keen to undertake reforms and improve the business climate.
Other invited guest speakers include ministers Simon Khaya Moyo (Economic Planning and Investment Promotion), Walter Chidakwa (Mines and Mining Development) and Samuel Undenge (Energy and Power Development).
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya, Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) CEO Richard Mbaiwa, Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Busisa Moyo and former Mwana Africa chief executive officer Kalaa Mpinga have been invited to speak at the forum.
The investment forum is organised by Zimbabwe Business Network, ZIA and international law firm, Stephenson Harwood.
Zimbabwe has been warming up to investors with the British Embassy in Harare urging British companies to consider investing in Zimbabwe as there were “encouraging signs that the government is softening its stance on indigenisation and developing more investor-friendly policies”.
In a monthly report for June, the British Embassy in Harare said the policy shift offered UK companies an opportunity to increase trade and investment.
“A number of international firms, particularly but not only from BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa] countries have begun to make serious investment into Zimbabwe given high return opportunities,” the embassy said.
Two UK trade missions visited Zimbabwe in 2014 and early this year to scout for investment opportunities.
Last month, the British Embassy in Harare, in collaboration with Standard Chartered, held a two-day capacity building workshop for public and private sector specialists in Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) implementation.
The workshops were led by British expert Malcolm Dowden, a director of law programmes at Law2020.
British Ambassador to Zimbabwe Catriona Laing told NewsDay last month the idea of the training was to leverage expertise and help Zimbabwe translate the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation into bankable projects.
Laing said the UK Department for International Development (DFID) supported inclusive economic growth through providing the infrastructure, assets, finance, skills and access to markets needed so that people can earn enough to meet their basic needs.
In his mid-term Fiscal Policy review statement, Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said there was need to put in place deliberate and targeted interventions to ensure that “our investment and business laws are also accommodative of the interests of foreign direct investors” given the growing number of countries wanting to do business with Zimbabwe.
“Furthermore, our investment drive should remain focused and consistent, if we are to take advantage of the growing interest to invest in our economy,” Chinamasa said.
“. . . failure to speak with one voice over critical policies, as well as failure to honour obligations, will not unlock new financing, condemning us to dependence on donor aid charity.”