Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE is looking for investment from the whole world and has ring-fenced its investment portfolio facilities to attract potential suitors from across the globe.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Dr John Mangudya said this in the United States of America yesterday in a televised interview with Bloomberg TV where he also assured investors that they can repatriate profits from their businesses in the country.
He said in light of the prevailing foreign currency shortages, Zimbabwe was opening up the economy to allow more foreign-owned companies to participate in the country’s economy.
“Right now Zimbabwe is going through foreign currency shortages and definitely by opening up the economy, we are saying that we need more companies coming into this country and then others will come in and others will be going out and therefore that’s why we are saying Zimbabwe is open for business,” he said.
“At the end of the day others will come in and the portfolio investors and others obviously will be going out and, therefore, we have ring-fenced the portfolio investment facilities and at the end of the day companies can take money out of the country.”
Since the coming of a new political administration led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in November 2017, the country has so far attracted nearly $7 billion foreign direct investments.
Dr Mangudya reiterated that Zimbabwe was open for business and invited investments from across the globe including companies from Europe in countries such as Britain, German and France as well as those from Asia, among others.
He said the Zimbabwe has three areas to which it has comparative advantage in attracting investments.
“First, if you look at mining, we have got a number of minerals in Zimbabwe that are unexploited. We have got gold; the quantum of it (13 million tonnes of gold under reserves) underground, we also have platinum and we are the second largest producer in Africa after South Africa,” said Dr Mangudya.
“We have got lithium, copper and nickel all those products and therefore mining is the first core, which we can invite investors to come and tap and that way we know we can create foreign currency.
“The second part is agriculture, we have got a very good climate in Zimbabwe, the soils are good; perfect for tobacco and horticulture and the third part is tourism where we have the seventh wonder of the world (Victoria Falls).”
The RBZ boss noted that if people can invest well in the above areas, the country has the potential to be Africa’s transport hub. He said under the new political administration, Zimbabwe has so far dealt with the investment climate and work was in progress to address the challenges former farmers faced when the country adopted the Land Reform programme in 2000.
On the introduction of local currency, he said: “Once we have a foreign currency buffer that is sufficient enough to ensure that there is convertibility.
Secondly, when we have got fiscal consolidation to ensure that we don’t have demand, which we create from a fiscal imbalance, we will then be able to have our own currency and that requires Zimbabwe to also have access to foreign finance that we can leverage using mineral resources.”
Zimbabwe adopted a multicurrency system in February 2009 to tame the hyperinflation that saw prices of goods and services reaching unprecedented levels.