Zim still lagging: MP

Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Minister Tapiwa Mashakada said Zimbabwe still lagged behind most SADC countries in attracting foreign direct investment, drawing a paltry $105 million last year, compared with an estimated $10 billion realised by other regional economies.

Tapiwa Mashakada
Tapiwa Mashakada

Angola, emerging from the ravages of a civil war, drew $2 billion FDI. It was followed by Zambia and South Africa, at $1 billion apiece, Namibia at $888 million, Mozambique $789 million and Malawi $140 million.

However, Zimbabwe could only manage a paltry $105 million in FDI after approving a total of 450 investment proposals worth $2,8 billion during 2010. Investors continue to shun Zimbabwe, despite its vast potential as a frontier market emerging from a decade-long economic instability.

Addressing a media briefing last Thursday, Mashakada attributed the poor inflows to negative perceptions about indigenisation and country risk profile. But, Minister Mashakada said in the face of scepticism from perceptions on indigenisation, the country would leverage on other comparative draw cards.

"The investors are saying that if ‘I come to Zimbabwe you will take 51%' and they would lose control of the investment," said Minister Mashakada. "But we will take advantage of our other strengths, such as dollarised economy. Zimbabwe is the only dollarised economy in Africa. If you come and invest a dollar in the economy, you can get a dollar (profit)," he said.

Mashakada added that the country had the biggest draw card in the form of its vast mineral resources base that includes diamonds, platinum and gold. But it would adopt a multi-pronged approach to attract foreign investment and this would also entail finalising outstanding bilateral investment agreements.

Post published in: Business

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