ZIA approves $666 mln investment projects in ten months to Oct
HARARE – The Zimbabwe Investment Authority approved projects worth just over $666 million in the year to October with China, Mauritius and South Africa remaining the dominant source countries.
Latest figures from the authority shows that the bulk of the projects approved are in energy ($203.17 million), manufacturing ($137.7 million), services ($129.56 million) and Mining sector at $78.8 million.
Countries like Mauritius remain an excellent route for structuring foreign investments into Zimbabwe as it combines the traditional advantages of being an offshore financial center (no capital gains tax, no withholding tax, no capital duty on issued capital, confidentiality of company information, exchange liberalisation and free repatriation of profits and capital) with the distinct advantages of being a treaty ‐based jurisdiction with a substantial network of treaties and DTAAs.
Total projects in the ten-month period amounted to 137 mostly targeted at the mining and manufacturing sectors. The projects are forecast to create 7 316 jobs and about $176.52 million in export earnings. However, these are just investment projects approved and not implemented.
ZIA public relations manager Nixon Kanyemba said: “The flow of investments shows that Zimbabwe still has potential in the manufacturing mining and services sectors as they continue to be dominant. If you look at the figures you will see that those areas that were attractive last year are still the same, signifying the potential the country has in those areas.”
However, figures from UNCTAD on actual investment flows will show that much less has been invested into the country since the start of the year while new concerns are being raised on the Chinese who while acquiring permits for manufacturing go on to set up retail outlets in the country.
The Ministry of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion is currently in the process of revamping ZIA’s reporting structure in order to deal with the anomaly. The new structure will show sector by sector numbers in terms of investment type, employment provided and the number of investors. It will also show the impact of those investments and differentiate between approvals and implementation. Also as part of the revamp the ministry will hold quarterly investment meetings and produce an annual investment report.
The structure will copy from the Rwanda model which collates the number of investors involved and the expertise required for their investment.
Many investors in various sectors sign MoUs with clear timelines but unfortunately some of these things are not captured while there has also been a missing mechanism to track the projects which will be implemented.