MAURITIUS has emerged as the biggest source of investment into Zimbabwe, accounting for projects worth $4,56 billion in the past five years.
According to statistics released at an investment strategic meeting in Harare this week, a ZBCtv report indicated Mauritius was leading in terms of investments into the country while China was the second largest source of investment at $$2, 81 billion.
Other top five source countries included South Africa at $1,54 billion, India $1,50 billion and Nigeria $1,45 billion.
An economic commentator Luxon Zembe said investment inflows from Mauritius and other countries like China were bound to increase anchored partly on the efforts that the Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) and the government were making to improve the ease of doing business.
“Despite the improvement on the country’s ease of doing business, we’re still way off in terms of competing with the rest of the world.
There’s a lot that needs to be done. For example, continued relaxation of the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act and also coming up with flexible policies to promote partnerships between businesses,” he said. He said the country needed to work hard on improving the ease of doing business by also ensuring that peace continues to prevail.
“At the moment, generally there’s relative peace. The highest risk is on the political front and we would appeal to politicians to say please you’re putting a risk premium. And we hope that there won’t be any violence and we urge our politicians to operate guided by democratic principles so that peace prevails to attract more FDIs,” said Zembe.
Bulawayo-based economic commentator Paul Chigariro echoed similar sentiments adding that the country also needs to improve on the provision of electricity and its cost by Zesa in order to attract investors.
“If the business environment can improve by making sure that power supply improves and the cost of electricity is competitive that can also lead to more investments into the country,” he said.
Another economic commentator Wendy Mpofu said the country’s economy was bound to recover significantly if the government exerts more effort in tackling the challenges facing the economy.
Through the ZIA, the government has announced a strategic plan aimed at improving the ease of doing business to attract foreign direct investment, which the country needs to promote economic growth and recovery. At the moment, Zimbabwe’s FDIs average $400 million per year, a figure that falls below regional economies that are attracting external investments at a value of $2 billion per annum.