Sunday, January 28, 2018

Zimbabwe Shines Brightest in Davos
Livingstone Marufu
Zimbabwe Sunday Mail

President Mnangagwa’s high-level meetings with top leaders from the world’s multilateral financial institutions and rich nations in Davos — Switzerland, has rekindled high hopes that the country’s re-engagement with the international community can yield quick economic turnaround.

Great expectations came after President Mnangagwa was welcomed by International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB) and African Development Bank (AfDB) top officials who are key in making decisions that might unlock funding for the country.

During the World Economic Forum, all eyes were on Zimbabwe and many investors were anxious to see how it will move forward after 37 years of former President Mugabe’s leadership.

And true to his words, President Mnangagwa is serious about re-engaging the international community and opening new doors for investment. Most nations’ leaders and multilateral chiefs have expressed their desire to work with Zimbabwe.

Economists and captains of industries have welcomed the development and see the Davos trip as a stepping stone for the country in terms of achieving economic revival.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) president Mr Sifelani Jabangwe said the President’s trip has brought a lot of interest across the globe and this may help revive the country’s industry.

“We are very happy that for the first time multilateral institutions like World Bank and IMF have opened up to extend credit lines to Zimbabwe, which is an encouraging development. Zimbabwe needs a great deal of investment towards manufacturing industry to re-tool and re-equip as most of our machinery are now obsolete.

“The bail outs by world major lenders will help the country to start producing again so that we start exporting goods and services, which we had ceased a long time ago. Once companies like NRZ and Zisco Steel are back on track, revival is almost certain,” said Mr Jabangwe.

President Mnangagwa held talks with IMF managing director Christine Lagarde, who said the financial institution will continue supporting Zimbabwe as the country addresses its economic challenges.

In a statement last Thursday, the IMF said Lagarde welcomed President Mnangagwa’s commitment to stabilising the Zimbabwean economy.

Madam Lagarde commended the President’s efforts to work towards normalising the country’s re-engagement with the international community at World Economic Forum in Davos.

President Mnangagwa also met AfDB president Dr Akinumwi Adesina, with the AfDB boss saying the meeting was excellent. The two discussed several areas of importance, which include agriculture, mining and infrastructure development.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers Marketing and Stakeholders Relations director Mr Alious Burutsa said Zimbabwe’s visit will be key in bringing back investors’ confidence in the country.

“As a country, we are happy that His Excellency President Mnangagwa has held a number of high level meetings with the top executives, that will re-build investors’ confidence in the country.

“The country has had a very low foreign direct investment and low lines of credit but with the new dispensation inspiring such confidence across the world, the country will be flooded with investors.

“The President has already told them the potential investment areas and we have a lot of opportunities in agriculture, mining and infrastructure development.

“The new dispensation’s confidence will cascade down to other nations who might be interested in investing in the country.

“The country needs some investment in agriculture, mining and infrastructure development,” said Mr Burutsa.

Due to revived optimism generated by President Mnangagwa’s presidency, the country has witnessed foreign direct investment inflows in just over 60 days with him in office.

Even erstwhile colonisers and foes like Britain and America have revived their long time interests in working with Harare.

Britain in December sent 27 tour operators, while Spain sent seven to scout for opportunities.

Prominent economist Dr Gift Mugano weighed in: “For the first time in years we have managed to successfully manage to market our country economically.

“Serious investors are currently looking for opportunities to invest in Zimbabwe.

‘‘We are fishing in the actual pond as our leaders had the opportunity to talk to the investors directly.

“The President went to Davos with key economic ministers like Dr Mike Bimha (Industry and Commerce), Minister Chinamasa (Finance and Economic Planning) and Minister Chitando (Mines and Mining Development), among others.

“We need investors to come and add more value to our agro products to bring more value to the country.

“Mining, electricity generation and special economic zones are other areas which we expect more investments to take place.”

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