Zim to amend investment laws: Chinamasa

Source: Zim to amend investment laws: Chinamasa | The Herald January 19, 2017

Enacy Mapakame Business Reporter —
ZIMBABWE has promised to amend its investment laws in order to attract more Chinese investment, Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa has said.

But to do that, the prospective investors must first point out areas they think are restrictive to Chinese money coming into Zimbabwe, he said.

Responding to questions by Chinese journalists early this week, Minister Chinamasa said Government was committed to improving its legislation to attract more foreign direct investment from the Asian country and other parts of the world.

“Please tell us the concerns that the Chinese investors have, the clarifications they need on our investment legislation so that we sit down and agree,” said Minister Chinamasa.

“It’s the investors who must know what they what, it’s the investors again who know what their constraints are in our investment climate,” he said.

He added Government was cognisant of the fears potential investors may have and the need to protect their money.

In line with this, Cabinet was willing to relax the legislation and any other impediments to investment in the country.

While the country is implementing its Look East Policy, Minister Chinamasa indicated any amendments to legislation would also help other potential investors from across the globe.

“These are issues we can discuss in Cabinet any time, we can consult with the highest authority and agree.

“But what we need to say is whatever we agree with the Chinese investors will also apply to everybody. So the ball is squarely in the court of would-be-Chinese investors.

“They are investors, they look after their interests.

“So let them identify and clarify to us what those concerns are and we make sure we do our best to address those concerns,” he said.

The country has in the past decade seen dwindling foreign direct investment, with investors citing unfriendly business conditions which also saw the country receive unfavourable global rankings.

But, Government, through the Office of the President launched Rapid Results Approach to ease of doing business to jump-start major change efforts in the implementation of various policies, programmes and projects that promote the investment climate.

To date, the approach has registered successes such as reducing the application period for construction permits from 448 days to 120 days while property registration now takes 11 days from 36.

Time taken to pay taxes was reduced from 242 hours to 160 hours.

The ultimate goal is to boost the country’s global rankings and attract foreign direct investment.

According to the World Bank, Zimbabwe ranks number 161 out of 190 economies on the ease of doing business.

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