Zimbabwe’s investment growth drive gets IFC backing

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ZIMBABWE’S investment growth drive has attracted the interest of the World Bank’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which has pledged financial and technical support.

A three-year Zimbabwe Investment Policy Promotion Programme funded by the IFC is in motion as part of efforts to restore local and external investor confidence in Zimbabwe.

IFC senior operations officer, Mr Kobina Daniel says a rebound in project approvals is setting the tone for improved business confidence.

“It is within the perspective of further bolstering the investment growth drive that has seen us partnering with Zimbabwe after signing an agreement for this collaboration last year. To date, several financial packages towards investment reforms have been availed with the key focus being the deployment of consultants to work with the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA) in enhancing investment inflows in Zimbabwe. As IFC, we are still committed to seeing that the terms of agreements are achieved bearing in mind the need to help the government of Zimbabwe in accelerating both local and Foreign Direct Investment inflows. Therefore, we shall continue to work with ZIDA on key matters of interest addressing challenges, identifying opportunities and arising awareness on Zimbabwe’s vast opportunities,” he said.

Entrepreneur, Ms Victorine Bokengo who was part of a Germany Investment Mission that was in the country in the past two weeks exploring business opportunities also described partnerships between the government and the IFC as crucial towards more Foreign Direct Investment inflows.

She said, “Our visit to Zimbabwe was an eye-opener as it provided an opportunity to learn more about what is in store within this beautiful country. From what we have seen, basically there are more opportunities for the investors and from the Germany perspective we are also committed to set up projects in key different sectors of the economy, indeed our visit enabled us to meet several business people including the regulatory authorities from ZIDA so that we can get to known each other as well as share or exchange notes on what is needed to set up projects in Zimbabwe. Therefore, when we come back I think the process will be all about how to set up the projects into reality, in fact, it is the mining, agriculture, manufacturing and tourism sectors that also attracted the interest of the Germany investors.”

The IFC also revealed a commitment to assist the Zimbabwean government to institute more reforms after the introduction of a One Stop Shop for investors, tax breaks for new projects, waivers on import taxes and surtaxes on capital equipment.

It also includes reduced regulatory costs, amendment of the Indigenisation Act and efforts to stamp out corruption.

Based in Washington DC of the United States, the IFC is a global financial institution that provides investment, advisory and asset management services to bolster private sector growth in developing economies.