Govt signs 54 trade pacts

via Govt signs 54 trade pacts | The Herald June 22, 2015

GOVERNMENT has signed 54 Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreements (BIPPA) that are now at various stages of completion as it moves towards injecting more pace in the country’s economic growth, a Cabinet minister has said.

Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Minister Simon Khaya Moyo made the remarks during a meeting to discuss ways to improve economic growth last week.

He said Zimbabwe signed the BIPPAs with countries on the African continent and the multi-lateral front.

He said 16 of the investment pacts were still under negotiation, three await signatures, 26 await ratification and nine had been ratified.

“Countries have increasingly turned to BIPPAs as a way to entice foreign investors to their shores. Going forward, as another priority area, Zimbabwe will continue to sign BIPPAs with interested partners across the world in a bid to boost confidence,” he said.

A Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) is an agreement establishing terms and conditions for private investment by nationals and companies of one State in another State. This type of investment is called foreign direct investment. BITs are established through trade pacts.

Most BITs grant investments made by an investor of a contracting State in the territory of the other guarantees, which typically include fair and equitable treatment, protection from expropriation, free transfer of means and full protection and security among others.

Efforts to quicken the pace of economic growth come amid realisation that the pace of growth was lagging behind the medium-term economic policy target of 7,2 percent per annum.

Foreign Direct Investment into Zimbabwe declined from $400 million in 2013 to $372,6 million last year.

The fact that domestic economic growth is lagging behind targets in the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-economic Transformation 2014/ 18, called for Government to craft sound macro-economic policies to stimulate growth, Minister Khaya Moyo said.

But Minister Khaya Moyo said given the country’s rich mineral endowments, the economy could still achieve the 7,2 percent average annual growth envisaged until 2018, adding the current rate of growth was also behind Africa’s average growth of 5 percent.

“This meeting comes at a time when the economy has not been achieving the Zim-Asset average economic growth of 7,2 percent. I am here to advise that given Zimbabwe’s natural resources and the new economic thrust we can still achieve the Zim-Asset target of 7,2 percent average growth rate as envisaged in the economic blue print.”

Zim-Asset, Government’s foremost medium- term economic blueprint to guide the country’s development agenda for the next five years, targets average growth of 7,2 percent per annum and seeks to achieve double digit economic growth beyond 2018.

To that end, Minister Khaya Moyo said there was need to grow the economy through sound macro-economic policies to stimulate growth, which is largely being stifled by lack of funding to raise production and replace old and antiquated technology for efficiency.

Minister Khaya Moyo said it was the job of all economists in Government to come up with effective solutions to reverse the economic slowdown, beset by serious liquidity constraints, and reposition the economy back on track for sustainable growth trajectory.

Intervention will also entail measures to attract foreign direct investment, as envisaged in Zim-Asset, and directing the investment into infrastructural project such as development of power, roads, rail, aviation, telecommunications, water and sanitation.

This would have to be amply supported by strong policy coherence, improved business climate and overall improvement in the way the country deals with international investors.

“Against this background, the country is in the process of implementing measures to improve the investment climate in order to attract more foreign direct investment inflows.”

The economic planning minister said he would leave no stone unturned to make sure that the Zimbabwe Investment Authority starts working as “truly” one-stop investment centre, with work already underway to make the authority world class investment centre.

He said investment forums would be prioritised so that Government gets to know the concerns of investors and address them to entice them to invest in the country, adding 30 foreign delegations had visited Zimbabwe’s shows to scout investment opportunities.

In addition to the incentives already pronounced by Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa in the 2015 National Budget Statement, Minister Khaya Moyo said Government was working towards reviewing the country’s investor incentives structure.

He said Government was also considering establishing Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and the legislation to give effect to this thrust would be presented to Parliament soon.

“SEZ create a platform to achieve economic development by attracting significant foreign direct investment through inviting world class manufacturing companies.”

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 2
  • comment-avatar
    Washumba 7 years ago

    Observe the old ones first.

  • comment-avatar
    grabmore 7 years ago

    Signing trade pacts does not bring investment…. rule of law and accountability bring investment. How many times do you have to be told the same thing over and over and over??