Government to launch investor handbook

THE government will this year launch an investor handbook as part of efforts to improve the business environment and lure foreign direct investment (FDI) into the country.

Report by Gamma Mudarikiri

Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) public relations manager Nixon Kanyemba told Southern Eye Business that the investment manual was almost complete and is expected to go for printing tomorrow.

“The investor handbook will be going for publishing this Friday and I am yet to inquire from the parent ministry as to when it will be officially launched,” he said.

Kanyemba said the handbook would be a manual for investors and would contain, among other things, information on the country taxation regulation, the indigenisation law, investment laws and company registration procedures.

The Economic Planning and Investment Promotion ministry has been making frantic efforts in trying to create environmentally-friendly investment policies targeted at enhancing Zimbabwe’s investment and economic standing. In a move aimed at enhancing the country’s investor perception, the government in 2010 launched a one-stop shop at the ZIA offices with a motive to reduce the number of days and offices that are visited by investors when they want to invest into the country, but this seems to have yielded little.

The government has also been conducting a number of investment roadshows in a bid to lure FDI.

However, despite all these efforts, Zimbabwe remains the worst in terms of ease of doing business chiefly attributed to policy inconsistence with regards the indigenisation law, complicated tax system, among other myriad of misalignments in terms of the business environment.

Bulawayo, particularly, continues on a downward path with 84 companies closing last year and another 64 reported to be on the verge of collapse, but failing to attract investment due to a poor business environment in the country.

Zimbabwe was this year ranked 128 in Doing Business Rankings on investor protection, which was a downward trend from 2012, an indication that investors are wary of financing projects in the country. On the World Bank’s Starting a Business Rankings, the country was at 143 out of 185 countries.

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 partly because of uncertainty surrounding the coming elections.

The country has been failing to attract considerable investment although foreign direct investment has been on a recovery path starting at $65 million (2009) and moving to $166 million (2010), $387 million (2011) and $450 million (2012).

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