Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
FOREIGN exhibitors at this year’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) yesterday said they were excited by the improvements in the country’s ease of doing business.
Zimbabwe is rolling out a comprehensive investment reform programme meant to remove a myriad of bottlenecks that have hindered foreign direct investment and domestic operations.
The improvements in investment climate are set to position the country favourably in the global rankings thereby attracting the much-needed FDI into the economy.
Foreign exhibitors who spoke to Business Chronicle during the ongoing ZITF said going forward, the country was likely to see a number of foreign investors setting up businesses on the back of improved investor sentiment.
South Africa-based adhesive distribution company, National Adhesive Distributors sales manager, Mr Zane Scullard, said his company was exhibiting at the ZITF for the first time and was here to find what trade opportunities exist in the country.
“Zimbabwe is a very strategic partner for South Africa, so we are coming here to see what trade we can do. Although this is my company’s first time to exhibit at the trade fair, we see signs of improvement in the ease of doing business,” he said.
Mr Scullard said his company did not encounter any challenges at the country’s port of entry with regards to bringing in their products into Zimbabwe.
“We have not had any problems of our goods coming through the border. Previously, we have heard of the stuff coming to ZITF being stuck at the border (on the Zimbabwean side) for two weeks failing to reach the show but this time around that has not happened.
“This is one of the signs that Zimbabwe is improving the ease of doing business,” he said
In a separate interview, Livetouch Investments chief executive officer Mr Dungming Wang whose Chinese company recently set up a cement manufacturing plant in Redcliff said:
“The investment climate in Zimbabwe is showing some signs of improvement and we foresee the investment climate becoming better and better as the Government works towards the necessary reforms,” he said.
Executive assistant to chief executive officer of the Namibia Ports Authority Mr Cliff Shikuambi said:
“Zimbabwe has a great potential to improve the ease of doing business. So far, we already see some remarkable progress in improving the ease of doing business. For example, when we came we did not encounter any challenges in bringing our products into Zimbabwe for the trade fair. That points to positive signs towards improving the ease of doing business in Zimbabwe”.
During the first quarter of the year, the Government tabled seven Bills to do with the ease of doing business as part of efforts towards creating a conducive business environment to transform the economy.
Last year, the Government announced that 13 laws aimed at creating a conducive investment climate by addressing concerns previously raised by foreign investors will be promulgated.
The Bills include the National Competitiveness Commission Bill, the State Procurement Bill, Shop Licences Amendment Bill and the Judiciary Laws Amendment Bill.