DAVOS-KLOSTERS, January 25 – Wednesday marked two months since Emmerson Mnangagwa was inaugurated as Zimbabwe’s president and the 75-year-old used the global platform of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland to emphasise that his country was open for business.
“Today is my 60th day in office, and on the day of my inauguration I mentioned that economics and trade cooperation would be the priority for the new order in the Zimbabwe, rather than politics as a priority, in order to catch up with the region,” Mnangagwa said speaking during a session at WEF in Davos.
“I’m sure you are aware that Zimbabwe is lagging behind in many areas as result of isolation these past 16-18 years of our history,” he said.
“We are now saying to the world, Zimbabwe is now open for business. To do so, it is necessary that we look at all the legislation which we have which has been constraining business coming into Zimbabwe, so that it is easy doing business in Zimbabwe.”
Mnangagwa made mention of the controversial Indigenisation and Empowerment Act, which was recently amended. The legislation prescribed majority ownership by Zimbabweans, but was partly blamed for the southern African country’s economic woes as it deterred investment.
Mnangagwa emphasised that the Indigenisation policy now only applied to two minerals, namely diamonds and platinum.
“The reason is that we do not have a comprehensive diamond policy. We are working on, talking to already established economies who diamond policies in our region,” he said.
“The rest you negotiate. You come in, if you want a partner, if you don’t want a partner, it is open for business, except in those two areas. You can come in for lithium, you can come in for gold, you can come in for chrome, you can come in for coal, any other mineral, tin, copper, it is now open.”
Mnangagwa added: “Going into the future, we would want to embrace the international community, we also want the international community to embrace us, and to do so we must look at what this is that needs to be done in order for the international community to accept us. In order for the international community to say, ‘today Zimbabwe is suitable for investment, is ready for investment.
“So we must look at the constraints which investors were saying, these are the things that determine bringing capital into any destination. Capital can go only where it feels comfortable. Why was it not feeling comfortable before? We must address these issues.”
– African News Agency (ANA),