ED pledges policy stability, certainty to business

HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday pledged to ensure policy stability and consistency as his administration moves to provide an enabling environment for local businesses to prosper and create jobs.

In his inaugural no –holds barred meeting with captains of industry, President Mnangagwa said his government was committed to providing a fertile environment for business to thrive through facilitating trade and investment.

“My government will continue to strive to ensure that there is policy clarity, certainty, cohesion and consistency,” he said to applause.

“We will guard against policy overlap, information asymmetry and policy reversals.”

Investors view policy inconsistency as the missing ingredient that saw many potential investors choosing to sit on the fence when it came to investing in the country during the government of former President Robert Mugabe.

But with the coming of the new administration last November, whose theme has been “Zimbabwe is open for business,” President Mnangagwa said the government was working on a cocktail of measures that would enable the private sector to flourish.

“With the right mindset, right policies, a conducive business environment, an enabling infrastructure and most importantly, an aggressive private sector, nothing stands in our way of achieving what we set out to achieve,” he said.

Establishment of an efficient one stop investment centre, fighting corruption, review of immigration laws and tariff management systems were among the long list of reforms that the government plans to urgently address in line with its theme to attract investment in the country, he said.

One of the main stumbling blocks to investing in the country, the Indigenization and Empowerment Act, which demanded that locals be majority shareholders in companies operating in major economic sectors, has been virtually scrapped by the new government and only left to apply to the diamonds and platinum mining sectors.

President Mnangagwa reiterated his desire to turn Zimbabwe into a middle income economy by the year 2030.

Business leaders presented issues they want the government to address which would enable them to improve operations.

Shortage of foreign currency was one issue that cut across all sectors namely banking, mining, agriculture, and manufacturing, which is impacting on payments for imports of critical raw materials.

Dairibord Holdings chief executive, Anthony Mandiwanza said it was imperative that business and the government be honest and open with each other to achieve meaningful progress in turning around the economy.

“We must speak less of known problems and focus on the solutions to the problems,” he said.

Bankers Association of Zimbabwe president, Dr Charity Jinya said it was imperative that the government worked with timelines on different issues and constantly reported back on progress or lack of it.

The leaders spoke on the need to curb corruption, amend laws affecting performance of the different sectors, and re-alignment of taxes which made it costly to do business in the country. – New Ziana

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