How would you present Zimbabwe to international investors?
Zimbabwe is open for business. Investors should be confident about putting their money in an economy growing at 7% far above the regional average of 5%. It has the highest literacy rate on the continent and abundant natural resources. The country’s infrastructure is robust and is strategically located to serve as a gateway to the SADC and COMESA markets. The country established the Zimbabwe Investment Centre, a one-stop shop for investment, two years ago to facilitate easy entry for investors.
Comment on the perceived political risk in the country?
In terms of our political situation, Zimbabwe is under a transitional government, and there is a roadmap for free and fair elections. This roadmap is managed and underwritten by SADC and the AU. We are reviewing our indigenization laws to make them more flexible, and exempt investors. This will be done under the condition that they will give back to the community, and show us what they intend to do for our locals in terms of input procurement, empowerment, training, skills and technology transfer.
What incentives will investors enjoy?
The greatest incentive are high market returns. On the stock market the general rate of investment is about 30%. Zimbabwe is an open economy where investments are protected. There is no expropriation or nationalization. Investors will get rebates for the importation of their business equipment and machinery. Those who want to repatriate their dividends after tax can do that at 100%, there is no exchange risk due to dollarization. You invest your dollar, you get your dollar.
What is the most attractive national investment opportunity?
We are looking for strategic partners for the national airline business. We need the planes and the capital. Middle Eastern participation is welcome. They can bring their airplanes and fly our routes. Investors must come to Zimbabwe early to enjoy first-mover advantage. Now is the time. Put one foot in the door, and enjoy the advantages of investing in Zimbabwe.