Thandiwe Katinhimure, Business Reporter
THE Zimbabwe National Chamber Of Commerce (ZNCC) says the country can draw valuable lessons from Rwanda on the effective ease of doing business reforms.
A ZNCC delegation recently visited Rwanda, a country that ranks number two, after Mauritius, in the ease of doing business rankings in Africa.
“Lessons from Rwanda call for the need to implement reforms so that the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) can be implemented to attract investment needed to resuscitate the economy,” said ZNCC.
According to the latest World Bank annual ratings, Zimbabwe is ranked 159th among 190 economies in the ease of doing business profile. Zimbabwe is already implementing a number of reforms meant to improve the ease of doing business and attract increased foreign direct investments.
A 100 day plan is already being implemented with various Government departments and ministries working on set targets.
ZNCC said the Government of Rwanda came up with a position under the Vision 2020 to bring the country’s economy upfront and the strategy included opening Rwanda to business and linking it to the rest of the world.
“Among other reforms, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) was formed in 2008 after merging eight different institutions. The vision of the RDB was to move GDP per capita from $720 to $1,200, to increase exports, to advocate for policy change, assess the needs and develop the labour market,” it said.
ZNCC also added that when Rwanda merged the eight institutions, it sought to bring all services together to reduce bottlenecks, time and bureaucracy for investors.
An after-care division was also set up to oversee the registered projects and an Investor Open Day was established every Friday to interface with investors in Rwanda, it said.
Opening up a business in Rwanda takes less than six hours at zero cost and this can happen online.
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) has made strides in improving the ease of doing business as players in the tourism sector can now register their businesses with the authority within an hour of submitting the application.