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– The Herald

There is no better time to invest in Zimbabwe as Government has created a conducive environment anchored by its economic blue print, the National Development Strategy 1, President Mnangagwa yesterday told an Italian business delegation representing 30 companies.

Zimbabwe was strategically positioned as a gateway into the entire African market and boasted human capital development with appropriate skills and competencies, thereby providing an opportunity for partnership and technological transfers.

President Mnangagwa was speaking at State House while addressing a business meeting with the European House Ambrosetti, an Italian based professional group whose influence has been growing significantly globally since its inception in 1965.

The team was led by executive director Mr Pietro Francesco Mininni who was with 25 chief executive officers plus others to explore business opportunities in Zimbabwe.

Senior Zimbabwe business leaders from sectors such as mining, energy and manufacturing attended the event with others following virtually at Munhumutapa offices.

“There is no better time to invest and do business in Zimbabwe than now. I therefore invite you to come to our country and take advantage of the various investment opportunities that are available.

“I assure you that every effort will be made to respond to enquiries and concerns in the spirit of the Second Republic’s culture of dialogue, engagement and re-engagement,”

said President Mnangagwa.

He said private sector players were free to join the Government in the expansion and modernisation of infrastructure.

“Private sector players are invited to partner Government in the expansion and modernisation of various infrastructure such as roads, rail, airports, industrial parks, power generation, dam construction, housing and water reticulation among others.

“In Southern Africa, Zimbabwe is strategically positioned as a gateway along the North-South Corridor into the entire African market. Hence logistics, hubs and warehousing facilities can be considered,”

said President Mnangagwa.

The President outlined the areas that investors could explore that include mining, agriculture, tourism, energy, infrastructure, among others and spoke on policies that Government made to ensure that the investment environment was robust.

They include NDS1, establishment of the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency, for a one stop investment entity, setting up of special economic zones in strategic areas, establishment of the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange for foreign companies and others.

“My Government is implementing sound macro-economic policies anchored on strong policy support, fiscal consolidation, stable prices and provision of a conducive tax environment.

“Over and above this, my administration has instituted health and safety protocols as well as rolled out the national Covid-19 vaccination programme in order to protect the health and lives of citizens. This will also allow us to fully open up the economy for uninterrupted economic activities,”

said President Mnangagwa.

In agriculture, President Mnangagwa said opportunities include irrigation development and agriculture mechanisation, horticulture, agro-forestry and agro-processing.

“The size of the food and agriculture business in Africa is expected to reach US$1 trillion by 2030, and as a producer, Zimbabwe is determined to tap into this vast market,”

he said.

Turning to mining, President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe had a diversified mineral resource base of over 60 exploitable minerals and the target of a US$12 billion a year mining industry by 2023 was a reflection of the country’s commitment to facilitate and support investments in that sector.

“Investors are welcome in the areas of exploration, mining, beneficiation, value addition, smelting and refining of minerals. Tax incentives on capital expenditure for exploration, development and operations are equally available,”

he said.

He said the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) that became operational in January 1, 2021, was a collective statement by African leaders and institutions to drive investment and trade.

In an interview after the meeting, Mr Mininni said he had brought a powerful delegation comprising several chief executive officers.

“We have 25 chief executive officers to discuss the future of your country. It was a constructive meeting. Today we laid the groundwork for positive dialogue with Zimbabwe to explore possible opportunities for cooperation.

“The President said it is the best time to make business with Zimbabwe. We totally agree that it is now time to do business with Zimbabwe. What was discussed are areas in mining, ICT, manufacturing, infrastructure, tourism, among others,”

said Mr Mininni.

Earlier on several Cabinet ministers made presentations to the delegation outlining areas that were open for business in sectors under their portfolios.

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