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Zimbabwe makes headway in Ease of Doing Business

by Staff reporter
28 Apr 2019 at 07:43hrs | Views
THE Government is making concerted efforts to improve the Ease of Doing business as it moves to attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) into the country.

Speaking at the Zimbabwe International Business Conference held at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre in Bulawayo last Wednesday, Vice-President Dr Constantino Chiwenga said there was still much the country should do to improve its Ease of Doing Business.

"While the Government has embarked on the Ease of Doing Business across various sectors the pace of implementation has not been fast as we would have wished thus bureaucratic, red tape and high costs of doing business continue to render Zimbabwe an unattractive investment destination especially to those investors whose investment location and decisions are motivated by a desire to increase production and reduce business operating costs," he said.

VP Chiwenga said the Government was in the process of expediting various reforms aimed at enhancing the Ease of Doing Business in the country.

"To address these shortcomings and improve competitiveness the Government will expedite the Ease and Cost of doing business reforms, capacitate the National Competitive Commission and establish the Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency (Zida) as a one-stop shop for speedy processing of investments," he said.

VP Chiwenga said the enactment of the Zida Act, which is expected to expedite the approval investment projects, was at an advanced stage.

"In its quest to attract investment the Government will expedite the enactment of the Zida Bill now before Parliament when fully established Zida will decide on investment applications within a day, thereby significantly shortening the period required by prospective investors to obtain business approvals. Cognisant that investors look at both the policy on paper and its implementation the Government will plan its entire machinery to do away with bureaucratic inefficiencies, complex regulations and procedures and unpredictable or arbitrary conduct," he said.

VP Chiwenga said the Government would endeavour to facilitate a conducive environment for investors to operate their businesses while also ensuring their investments are beneficiary to the growth of the country's economy.

"In addition to ensuring investors transparency, creditability and investment protection guarantees, the Government will adopt a targeted approach when dealing with different investors taking into account their valid motivations to invest. Thus business friendly policies on importing inputs will be put in place for manufacturing firms.

"In all dealings with investors, however, the Government's overall objective will be to attract, retain and harness foreign direct investment and in so doing in all times the balance will be maintained between investor preferences and public interest to ensure that the country obtains net positive benefits from FDIs," he said.

Zimbabwe is ranked 155 among 190 economies in the Ease of Doing Business, according to the latest World Bank annual ratings. The rank of Zimbabwe improved to 155 in 2018 from 159 in 2017. Ease of Doing Business in Zimbabwe averaged 161,91 from 2008 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 171 in 2011 and a record low of 153 in 2014.

The Ease of Doing Business index ranks countries against each other based on how the regulatory environment is conducive to business operation stronger protections of property rights. Economies with a high rank (1 to 20) have simpler and friendlier regulations for businesses.

Source - sundaynews