By Ndafadza Madanha
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has assured foreign investors that their investments are safe and his administration will honor all Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement Zimbabwe have signed.
The pronouncements come at a time when government has intensified efforts to lure foreign direct investment with the head of state penciled to undertake his maiden trip to the World Economic Forum gathering in Switzerland next week.
“All investments are safe and secure and all BIPPA will be honored and I have directed the ministry of foreign affairs to ratify all agreements we are signatory to. We are also willing to engage in partnerships and we have put a joint ventures act,” said Mnangagwa at the launch of the National Investment Policy statement.
He said the country could not afford to waste the goodwill that the international community has shown to his administration.
Turning to his trip to Switzerland Mnangagwa said he would tell the forum that Zimbabwe was now open for business and was prepared to engage with all as no country could live like an island.
“At Davos we want to dispel the nation that we are an island, we are going to say look at the menu and decide what you want as Zimbabwe we are open for business. We now open to new international relations with those who were hostile to us and shall also keep the old relations. Let us not look at the past but if we do it is to draw lessons”.
He said the policy inconsistencies and pronouncements that characterized the last administration will not be tolerated and that he has directed line ministries to marry their policy position with the legislative framework.
He said the indigenization and empowerment act was of primary concern to investors and the ministry of justice was working on amending the act to meet the new policy position that restricts the 51-49 threshold to platinum and diamonds.
On underperforming parastatals he said while government was committed to reforming the institutions he required to fully address some the challenges the entities faced.
“The privatization of parastatals will not be rushed as their problems require various solutions some need to be capitalized others abolished while some are privatized. So in the six weeks do not expect me to have found the solutions for all of them”.
He said that government was keen for local investors to participate in the Special Economic Zones as long as they meet the criteria set out by the responsible ministries.