Nqobile Tshili, Business Correspondent
ZIMBABWE should compete with other states in implementing policies that attract foreign direct investment to boost economic growth, an official said.
In the context of global and regional competition for investment, Government should adopt aggressive reform approaches and invest resources in creating a conducive doing business atmosphere.
Reinstated Zanu-PF Bulawayo provincial chairman, Professor Callistus Ndlovu, said this in an interview where he stressed the need for the new political dispensation to prioritise economic growth oriented policies. He said Zimbabwe has suffered years of stagnation as a result of policy bottlenecks that stifled investment.
“There is a general belief that foreign investment will find this place attractive on its own. You have to go and engage foreign investors outside actively. You must actually have a huge budget dedicated to attracting foreign investors instead of sitting and expecting that people think this country is fantastic and so on.
“There are too many countries that are better than this country so you have to aggressive to attract investors,” said Prof Ndlovu.
He said Zimbabwe needs to review some of its policy provisions as some of them worked against investment growth. Zimbabwe ranks poorly on the global ease of doing business ladder, prompting Government to adopt a rapid results model to reviewing several legislative provisions that affect investment.
“The challenge has been policy formulation. The policy formulation was not based on clear planning. There are things that were adopted in good faith in order to assist the average poor people, which militated against the expansion of the economy.
“One good example is the indigenisation policy. The indigenisation policy has to be looked at critically. You don’t indigenise nothing and expect to have an economic growth. You have to create wealth first before you can indigenise,” said Prof Ndlovu.
He said Zimbabweans in the diaspora should join hands in the revival of the country’s economy as they have acquired skills and created linkages necessary for the country’s growth. Prof Ndlovu also said for the economy to grow people should be employed on merit instead of rewarding individuals on family ties. “It also means creating an atmosphere in the country where people are promoted on the basis of capacity. It must be a career open to talent not a career open to relationship economy. It should never be that I will get employed because my uncle or brother is this. If we create a career open to talent, you are likely to harness a lot of capable people,” said Prof Ndlovu.
He said Bulawayo should not just cry for revival of the city’s industries but create new industries in line with modern trends.