CZI to hold major investment forum

CZI to hold major investment forum
Published: 17 May 2018
THE Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) will hold its 2018 Congress and International Investment Forum from September 26-28 in Bulawayo.

The congress, which runs under the theme From Dialogue to Implementation; It's Time to Act,will be held two months after the expected July harmonised elections.

A number of countries and international organisation have reportedly expressed a desire to invest in Zimbabwe, with President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently saying the country was sitting on $11 billion worth on investment commitments.

In a preliminary statement to members, CZI said it was expecting international delegates, to attend the event. "We have approached Italy, South Korea and Indonesia, in addition to India and Turkey who came last year.  There will also be a business-to-business session where delegates will share views on selected economic sectors."

For nearly 20 years, Zimbabwe has been in default on about a $10 billion international debt, resulting in the country failing to access cheap capital due to its high political risk profile. The situation has resulted in industries
operating archaic and inefficient machinery.

Government says it has, however, revived the country's debt clearance plan with major multinational lenders, the World Bank (WB) and African Development Bank, while seeking rapprochement with Britain and the United States.

"We deliberately delayed congress till after elections in July or August 2018. We will definitely invite the new ministers charged with developing and growing our economy. An approach will also be made to the State President to attend a session," CZI said.

Zimbabwe's competitiveness as an economy and investment destination remains poor, only edging up to position 159 from 161 out of 190 countries, despite government's stated drive to improve its position on the WB's Doing Business rankings released in February.

A 2018 WB report shows that Zimbabwe, which has committed to far-reaching reforms to unlock foreign direct investment inflows since November when Mnangagwa became President, recorded three positive reforms in getting credit, registering and protecting minority investors as measured by the Doing Business methodology during the course of this report's data collection cycle which captures January to December 2017.

Zimbabwe was ranked 159 out of 190 economies on the global Ease of Doing Business rankings, scoring 48,47 percent out of a possible 100 percent - a 0,80 percent increase on the 47,6 percent recorded last year.

The majority of new reforms adopted by the Mnangagwa administration are designed to improve the efficiency of regulations by reducing their cost and complexity, with the largest number of improvements made in the area of starting a business, which measures how long it takes to obtain a permit for this  and associated processing costs.

- fingaz
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