via Govt to review laws blocking investment 14/05/2014 by Xinhua in NewZimbabwe
ZIMBABWE is open to review all the policies and legislations that hamper the inflow of much-needed foreign investment as the authorities plan to set up special economic zones, a cabinet minister said Wednesday.
Industry Minister Mike Bimha told Xinhua on the side-lines of a business forum hosted by Nestle Zimbabwe that the authorities were looking at all possibilities.
This included reviewing the indigenization law, which requires foreign businesses operating in Zimbabwe to cede majority share-holding to black Zimbabweans.
Critics blame the indigenization, which was enacted in 2010, for frightening away foreign investors.
The government has maintained that the law, as a cornerstone of the ruling party’s policy, would not be scrapped but will draft out different implementation approaches from sector to sector.
Bimha said successful experiences of countries including China which have set up special economic zones will be studied. He said the government is open to cooperation with any international partner to set up such zones in Zimbabwe.
“We are looking at areas that can bring value-addition and beneficiation, for example, value-addition and beneficiation for agricultural products and minerals,” Bimha said.
The idea of introducing special economic zones came at a time economic growth has become sluggish after five years of robust growth backed by the mining sector.
The economy expanded by only 3.4 percent in 2013, a marked reduction from more than the 10 percent growth registered in 2012.