New 100-Day Action Plan . . . To improve ease of doing business . . . Attract more Foreign Direct Investment

Misheck Sibanda

Misheck Sibanda

The government is working on a new 100-Day Action Plan to improve the ease of doing business in Zimbabwe and in turn attract more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda said last week.

FDI into Zimbabwe has been low over the years owing to a number of reasons including portrayal of the country as an unsafe investment destination by Western media.

Investors have also been shunning Zimbabwe due to the pessimistic approach towards the indigenisation and empowerment Act.

Sibanda told a press briefing that following President Robert Mugabe’s directive to accelerate the ease of doing business by implementing a raft of measures by December 31, government had adopted a Rapid Results Approach.

He said the first 100-Day Rapid Results Action Plan, launched on September 11, had yielded various milestones including reducing the number of days it takes to register a property from 36 days to 14 days and reducing time taken to pay taxes from 242 hours to 160 hours.

He said the government was targeting the first quarter of next year to achieve key reforms that will improve the ease of doing business.

Some of the reforms include amending the Companies Act, Shop licensing Act and the Procurement Act while also aiming to reduce the days it takes to register a business from the current 30 days to between 10 and 15 days.

“In order to maintain the momentum gained, the Action Plan for the next 100 days will be concluded by 31st of December 2015,” he said.

“The next cycle of the 100 days will require the full and active participation of key stakeholders from both the private and public sectors, which will need to be buttressed by a robust communication and capacity building programme not only at implementing officers but also at front line workers.”

Sibanda said with the envisioned raft of reforms, Zimbabwe’s ranking on the World Bank Ease of Doing Business report was bound to improve.

Zimbabwe was this year ranked 155 out of 189 countries on the ease of doing business report.

Speaking at the same event, Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha said Cabinet had requested all line Ministries to be committed to the reform process to ensure its success.

“Cabinet went further to call upon all key Ministries to ensure that they played their part fully to enable complete buy-in of key officials in the reform and review of departmental processes under the programme.

“It was noted that there was a need to continuously review and communicate government procedures with the intention of providing an efficient and effective service delivery to domestic and foreign investors,” he said.

Bimha however said some of the reforms may not be immediately felt on the ground due to their nature and the need for setting up legal frameworks and re-engineering shorter frameworks for their implementation. — New Ziana

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