THE Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency (ZIDA) says the diaspora community and potential international investors could ride on the newly established Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX) to harvest lucrative business opportunities in the country.
The recent operationalisation of the new stock exchange is part of the country’s game plan to entice offshore investments, which are expected to impact positively on the productive sectors. Revamping the economy and widening the job market is at the heart of the Government’s drive to create an upper-middle-income economy by 2030.
Prominent industrialist and ZIDA chairman, Mr Busisa Moyo, is convinced that the foreign currency-denominated VFEX platform presents a favourable opportunity to unlock Diaspora and international foreign direct investment.
“VFEX is a platform for raising capital from both local and foreign. We all know that there could be anywhere upwards of US$1 billion that people are holding and trading outside and part of that money, not all of it, needs to be invested somewhere where it can get a return and this (VFEX) provides the platform,” he said in an interview.
“The Diaspora are always looking for structures where they can invest credibly and also repatriate the returns and this provides the platform for your Diaspora investments. The third one is your international investors, always looking out for the new things, they want to try out, they want to test, but also some very serious players. Now they can come in here, this becomes the gateway, you come in and invest on VFEX and once you invested you can operate in the country.”
Mr Moyo, who is also the chief executive officer for United Refineries and board chairman for the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) Company, says the coming in of VFEX dovetails into the country’s Special Economic Zones (SEZs) drive. Once investors participate on the stock market, he said ZIDA automatically comes in and links them to SEZs, which provide the location where an investor can identify their business interest.
“So, you can raise international capital in Zimbabwe, get into a Special Economic Zone under ZIDA, which is in Zimbabwe. So, the whole value chain, the financial value chain is being intentionally structured in the country and then you can export and there are special incentives. Just like there are incentives under VFEX for an operator in a Special Economic Zone, all in the quest of attracting foreign direct investment, international capital, output and employment expansion and growth of the economy.”
ZIDA was legally constituted early this year with Mr Moyo chairing the board while Mr Douglas Munatsi was appointed chief executive officer. Despite Covid-19 disruptions during the course of the year, Mr Moyo said ZIDA has been working behind the scenes to secure regulatory support and building a strong team, which entail seeking skilled and experienced personnel even outside the country’s borders. Going forward, he said ZIDA will be more visible and play its role to aid investment in the country.
“I can assure you that when we come to the market it’s a full package. We already have a project pipeline of national projects that we are working on and when we come to the market formally, when we have a team, you can direct an investor to ZIDA with a proper structure. You can be assured of action and its intentional,” said Mr Moyo.
Through ZIDA, the Government seeks to accelerate improved ease of doing business in the economy by providing a single point of contact for the processing of investment proposals and issuance of investment certificates and other associated permits/licences from one centre. The drives further entail streamlining of investment laws to foster coherence and predictability, quickening and easing investment approval process and restoring business confidence in Zimbabwe. – Sunday News