Zimbabwe Investment Authority approves $134m investment projects

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THE Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) approved investment projects worth $134 million as of May end this year with economic analysts saying the figures are by far below average, attributing this to the uncertainty surrounding the forthcoming elections.

Report by Gamma Mudarikiri

ZIA in that period, approved 65 projects expected to create employment to 3 309 people, which, however, economic analyst, Erich Bloch said were below last year’s figure attributing the slide in investment to policy inconsistences and uncertainty surrounding the coming polls.

“Investors are sitting on the side because they are uncertain of the outcome of the coming election,” he said.

“The country will only realise significant investment inflows in 2014 provided we have a free and fair election.”

Bloch said investors would delay implementing the already approved projects, mainly due to the unpredictable business environment after polls, as they might be changes in policies.

Zimbabwe has for years been criticised for policy inconsistencies, mainly the indigenisation laws and a complicated tax system, which continues to thwart investment inflow.

Of the approved projects 75% were from China, valued at $100 million, Mauritius 8% representing $11 million, South Africa 7% at $7 million, while investment from UK amounted to $3 million representing 2%.

The remainder was shared among other countries, including Malawi, US, Australia, France and Ghana. In terms of spread of investment across sectors, 30 of the projects were from manufacturing worth $87,9 million, mining (22 valued at $34,6 million), services (11 with a value $8,2 million).

Only two projects were approved for the tourism sector with a value of $3,3 million, while for agriculture, construction and the transport sector, there were no investments during the period.

This is despite the fact that that the three sectors are counted among the most ailing in the country.

Investments continue to slow down in the country and despite ZIA approving projects worth over $6 billion last year, most of them have not taken off, as investors are now adopting a wait-and-see attitude.