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Zimbabwe’s current investment outlook

By Farai Nyabereka

The ease of doing business reforms embarked upon by the Government of Zimbabwe in 2016 were intended to have the resultant effect of significantly altering the current investment landscape in Zimbabwe. Post implementation, there is now a strong emphasis on the removal of bureaucratic and time costly licensing procedures, which hamper or frustrate the investment process. The new measures undertaken by the Government, together with the significant difference in messaging, particularly with the need for re-engagement of Zimbabwe with the international community, signify a departure with the old status quo.

Whilst Zimbabwe has undergone substantive political and economic upheaval, coupled with policy inconsistency, a lot of foreign investors have been very risk averse with regards to investing in Zimbabwe. Most have been keen to assess the post-election climate before making any substantial and significant capital investment into the country. Regardless, Zimbabwe remains on a steadfast track to make itself an attractive investment proposition, underpinned by a strong human capital, underlying infrastructure, and abundant natural resource endowment, as well as a renewed sense of optimism. The Government has also been cognisant, of the need to introduce new investment draws, such as the enactment of the Special Economic Zones Act and regulations, e-filing system for all tax and company registration as well as the proposed digitisation of the Deeds and Company, a central credit registry system etc.

The cumulative effect of this is that through implementation and continued political will to drive these interventions, Zimbabwe is greatly placed to overcome negative perceptions, improve its position on the Ease of Doing Business spectrum, and transcend into a developed economy.