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Government removes bottlenecks hindering economic revival, says Mohadi

by Staff Reporter
24 Mar 2018 at 08:36hrs | Views
THE Government has removed bottlenecks hindering economic revival and foreign direct investment in the country, Vice President Kembo Mohadi said yesterday.

In his keynote address at the Bulawayo Investment Forum held in the city, the VP said the removal of impediments in the ease of doing business was in sync with President Emmerson Mnangagwa's clarion call that Zimbabwe is open for business.

He noted that because of bureaucracy among other bottlenecks that existed in the past before the new administration, Zimbabwe had for long been isolated from the international community.

"It is not business as usual in Zimbabwe in general and it should not be business as usual in Bulawayo in particular from henceforth we must hit the ground running.

"In his inaugural speech, the President said Zimbabwe is open for business so Bulawayo is open for business," he said.

Mohadi said in recent weeks he travelled to Japan, Spain and Portugal to convey the message that Zimbabwe is open for business and many had shown interest in investing in the country.

"In doing so, or in coming up with that mantra (Zimbabwe is open for business), we had in mind as Government that Zimbabwe had been isolated for too long. All the impediments that hampered the ease of doing business are no longer there," he said.

Mohadi said since the coming in of the new political dispensation last November, a lot has been done to attract foreign direct investment from all over the world.

"Just yesterday (Thursday) we witnessed together with the President, a signing ceremony of a huge investment that will kick off on the 28th of March this year, an investment of a magnitude of $4.2 billion (Platinum investment agreement with a Cyprus-based firm).

"This investment because of the bureaucracy that we had then has been on the cards for more than six years.

"But within 90 days of our coming into power this investment was signed yesterday, so we (new political administration) mean business and we are hitting the ground running, " he said.

Mohadi said Government was committed to developing various economic sectors to international standards.

Turning to revival of Bulawayo, once the country's industrial hub, Mohadi said it was imperative for all stakeholders to engage potential investors in order to restore the city's industrial hub status.

He said the efforts being made to resuscitate the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) by Government were also crucial in the revival of industries in Bulawayo and the country's transport sector at large.

Last year, NRZ signed a $400 million recapitalisation project with the Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group (DIDG)/Transnet consortium to rehabilitate the railways company's infrastructure and equipment.

Financial closure of the $400 million recapitalisation project is expected by June this year.

As an interim arrangement to the $400 million recapitalisation deal, NRZ is leasing 13 locomotives, 200 wagons and 34 passenger coaches from DIDG/Transnet consortium.

In February, President Mnangagwa received on behalf of NRZ part of the rail equipment comprising 150 wagons, seven passenger coaches and seven locomotives, which the parastatal is leasing.

The remainder of the equipment will be delivered in due course.

VP Mohadi commended the business community in Bulawayo for coming in numbers to attend the provincial investment forum saying this demonstrated unity of purpose.

Source - Byo24News