Zim calls for investors

Kea' Modimoeng
investment_meeting.jpgInvestment Meeting
ZIMBABWE'S economy has improved significantly since the unity government came into power, according to Elton Mangoma, minister of economic planning and inves

Mangoma yesterday addressed the South African Liaison Office in
Pretoria under the theme: Building a consensus on Zimbabwe:
international investment, economic recovery and policy leverage.

Speaking to journalists afterwards, Mangoma urged South African
businesses to invest in Zimbabwe and noted that investments made under
these economic conditions would bear fruit.

According to Mangoma, his country which owes international creditors
up to $10- billion ( R90.6-billion) will see a growth of about
3 percent to 5 percent by the end of this year.

In March, we saw deflation of about 2 percent and this shows that next year we might see double-digit growth rates, he said.

Since the inception of the new unity government, we have seen renewed
optimism in the economy as people are feeling more encouraged to wake
up and go to work.

Shops are filling up again and, for many citizens, seeing more bread in the shelves has been a fantastic thing.

Two weeks ago, a South African delegation led by mining giant Patrice
Motsepe, along with Business Unity South Africa chief executive Jerry
Vilakazi, went to Zimbabwe.

Mangoma said it would be more beneficial if South Africa's business
community would invest more than the government to revive the ailing

He said Zimbabwe had received support from the international community, especially in the form of humanitarian assistance.

We have greatly benefited from other states with food supply and in the fight against the cholera disease, he said.

We hope to receive more assistance in education, especially in the
form of teaching material and payment of teachers' salaries.

Mangoma noted that they had been receiving assistance and signs of potential investments from China, South Africa and the UK.

Asked when the outstanding political activities such as the appointment
of the reserve bank governor, ambassadors and permanent ministers would
take place, Mangoma said these would happen as soon as possible now
that the prime minister is back from bereavement leave.

Mike Schussler, T-Sec economist, said it would be difficult for
Zimbabwe to reach its growth forecast because of the country's current
economic image.

Zimbabwe is not a country that people would like to invest in, also
because of the issue around property rights. Schussler said that once
everything improved, there could be substantial investment in
Zimbabwe's agriculture and mining sectors.

Dawie Roodt, Efficient Group economist, said it was not impossible to
achieve the forecasted growth, but that it would not mean much. They
are starting from a very low base because the economy has been
destroyed, but 5 percent would also not change a lot.

The Times (SA)

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