Ambassadors Share Thoughts About Zimbabwe’s Economic Environment

Ambassadors Share Thoughts About Zimbabwe's Economic Environment
Image Credit: Newsday

The new Zimbabwean government has been going around the world luring investors to come and invest in the country as it works to turn around Zimbabwe’s economy which has not been progressing for years.

President Emerson Mnangagwa has been using the mantra “Zimbabwe is open for business” and has been positive that the government is managing to pull Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country.

“My message to the world is that Zimbabwe is open for business,” the President and different Ministers in the government are on the record reiterating the phrase.

After 100 days of the new government in office, ambassadors on a mission to Zimbabwe revealed different thoughts about Zimbabwe’s economic environment.

Italian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Enrico De Agostini revealed confidence in the government and said that over 200 companies from Italy are interested in the country.

The ambassador said that Zimbabwe, which has 19 bilateral agreements to be ratified, has a lot of work still need to be done and advised the government not to dictate on business but to become a referee and a facilitator.

“The government is not above business, Government is at the same level with business but doing something else,” the ambassador said.

“The whole world is looking at Zimbabwe, I would say that you are special Zimbabwe of course you won’t say that yourselves.”

Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Toshiyuki Iwado said that the mantra “Zimbabwe is open to business” is encouraging.

Iwado also said that each company has its own requirement so there is need to engage companies themselves to understand what is needed.

“The administration is quite against corruption and this is encouraging again and fair for business,” said Iwado.

The Japanese ambassador also stated that although Zimbabwe is rich in terms of human resources but regulations are prohibitive.

Amarjit Singh, the Malaysian Ambassador reiterated the need for a right communication for Zimbabwe since investors mistakenly take Africa as a country.

The Malaysian spoke of the need for public-private partnership (PPPs) as a way of growing the economy.

“The private sector is the engine of growth and the government is the facilitator… The government of Malaysia joined hands with the government for growth,” Singh said.

The ambassador also said that there is a need for the civil sector reforms at a time when government workers are being blamed for causing the fiscal deficit in Zimbabwe.

United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Senior economic adviser Amarakoon Bandara has also commented on Zimbabwe’s progress and said that Zimbabwe has good policies but lacks on implementation.

The Economist said that there is a lot of constraints even to start a start a small business in the African country.

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