FOREIGN companies attending the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) have expressed interest in investing in Bulawayo, but want the government to revise its investment policies to win their hearts and minds before they pump money into the economy.
Most exhibitors and participants canvassed by Southern Eye Business on Tuesday and yesterday categorically stated that while Bulawayo and the rest of Zimbabwe was open for business, the country needed to deal with policy inconsistencies to gain their confidence.
Representatives from South Africa, Congo Brazzaville, Poland and Indonesia said they were willing to come and invest, but needed certain investment issues clarified.
The government recently revealed it was intensifying efforts to amend investment laws to make it easier for foreign investors to register and do business.
Major restrictive laws governing investment in Zimbabwe include the ZIA Act, Zimbabwe Stock Exchange Act, Immigration Act, Labour Act, Zimbabwe Revenue Act, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act and Environmental Management Act.
Dolly Kesoparsad, director of South Africa-based Electrotech Electrical Company, said their firm had interest in investing in the energy sector.
“We do electrical work for the municipalities in South Africa and if we see some opportunities in Zimbabwe we will come and invest. We have been taking other people’s details to determine who is interested so that we can come and invest,” he said.
Mark Rubin, sales representative of Pak Afro Textile Zone (Pvt) Ltd based in South Africa, said they wanted to investigate whether Zimbabwe was investor-friendly or not before they could pump in their money. An Indonesian head of economic affairs, Anton Nugroho and Congo Brazzaville official, Romuld Endzandza, indicated investors were interested to invest.
Andrzej Krezel the head of trade and investment promotion section in Poland, said many companies in his country had expressed interest in coming and invest in mining and the construction industry.
“We have more companies in Poland that have expressed interest to invest in Zimbabwe. Some of them are interested in mining and construction industry. We also want to invite Zimbabwean investors to come and invest in our country. We are looking for serious investors not opportunists,” he said.
However, an official at the Roff Industries who declined to be named said Zimbabwe was not investor-friendly and they were reluctant to come and invest.
“According to my personal view, Zimbabwe is not investor-friendly so it is hard to tell whether we might come to invest or not,” he said.