– The Herald
The Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA) has teamed up with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in undertaking an investor confidence survey whose findings would be key in improving the business environment and further attract more foreign direct investment.
IFC is an international financial institution that offers investment, advisory, and asset management services to encourage private sector development in less developed countries.
The financial institution is a member of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington DC.
Given its prestigious profile, the IFC’s association with ZIDA in the Investor Confidence Survey is expected to raise Zimbabwe’s standing in the eyes of global investors if the survey results show that Zimbabwe is a safe investment destination that has numerous investment opportunities in many sectors of the economy.
Having IFC backing means that the results of the survey will be taken seriously by international investors looking for safe and secure investment opportunities.
The survey seeks to capture the views of investors on Zimbabwe’s business environment, the policy and regulatory framework for foreign direct investment, the quality and scope of services offered to investors by ZIDA and related government agencies, as well as any specific challenges that constrain investment.
ZIDA plans to use the survey findings to inform policy dialogue around improving Zimbabwe’s ability to attract and retain investment, in other words making sure that investors know what is available and removing any overlooked bottlenecks.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube told The Herald yesterday that ZIDA’s partnership with the IFC demonstrates that the reengagement drive was proceeding well, and that Zimbabwe is indeed open for business.
“The IFC partnership with ZIDA is most welcome and shows that international re-engagement is gathering pace and Zimbabwe is open for business. “The survey will reveal investment opportunities for interested investors. It will also point to areas that need to be reformed in order to support investors and improve the environment for doing business,”
said Prof Ncube.
IFC technical assistance will help ZIDA to develop and administer the survey, which will be followed by a planned multi-year advisory support programme with ZIDA to identify and support policy, institutional, legal and regulatory reforms to help attract FDI.
ZIDA chief executive officer Mr Douglas Munatsi yesterday said the survey will deepen Zimbabwe’s efforts to
“change the narrative around the country as an investment destination”.
IFC Country Manager for Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe Mr Adamou Labara said:
“First-hand information from current and potential investors about the business and investment environment in Zimbabwe is the best tool to unlock opportunities for private sector growth. IFC is ready to support ZIDA in this very timely endeavor.”
The survey will be administered by Zimbabwean survey firm AdvisoryK and survey responses will be anonymous. Respondents have been advised that the questionnaire will not solicit personal financial information.
ZIDA was established through the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency Act to promote, facilitate, and protect investments in Zimbabwe. It combined, replaced and upgraded a raft of separate agencies into a single one-stop shop for investors.
It was officially launched in December last year, and the support from the IFC is intended to enhance ZIDA’s capacity to advocate for a policy and regulatory framework that improves Zimbabwe’s ability to attract and retain investment.
World Bank Country Manager for Zimbabwe, Ms Mukami Kariuki, said although the World Bank Group and IFC are unable to develop lending operations or provide financing to the public and private sectors, there is a commitment across the group to
“support development outcomes by providing technical assistance and advice”.