From News Day by MTHANDAZO NYONI
THE Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) approved projects worth $1,03 billion in 10 months of the year, up 55% from the comparable period last year, latest statistics have shown.
Data gathered from ZIA indicated that from January to October this year Zimbabwe approved projects worth $1,03 billion compared to $666 million recorded last year.
However, these are just investment projects approved and not implemented.
The projects are forecast to create 7 888 jobs and about $57,1 million in export earnings.
According to the figures, $567 million will be invested in the mining sector, energy $163 million, services $149 million, construction $106 million and $30 million in the manufacturing sector.
Out of 126 approved projects in the period under review, foreigners accounted for 23, while joint ventures projects were 103.
Local investors did not contribute anything. Zimbabwe has been, for the past decades, struggling to attract significant foreign direct investment (FDI) due to unfavourable investment policies such as Indigenisation Act which requires local to have at least 51% shareholding in all businesses with a net value of at least $500 000.
For the country to attract more significant investment, policy instability, poor access to financing, corruption and inefficient government bureaucracy, should be addressed with urgency.
At his inauguration in Harare last week, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said key choices would have to be made to attract FDI to tackle high levels of unemployment.
He said the country’s economic policy would be predicated on agriculture, command agriculture which is the mainstay and creating conditions for an investment-led economic recovery that puts a premium on job creation.
Mnangagwa said the establishment of economic zones would be accelerated in order to attract investment and increase exports.