By Ndafadza Madanha
INORDINATE delays in the ratification of Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (BIPPAs) are scuttling efforts by the government to lure foreign direct investment according to Italian ambassador to Zimbabwe.
Italy and Zimbabwe signed a bilateral agreement in 1999 however; Harare is yet to ratify the agreement causing unease to Italian investors.
He says the new administration of President Emmerson Mnangagwa should expeditiously move to ratify BIPPAs so as to provide investors with the necessary confidence.
“Our BIPA with Zimbabwe is still to be ratified though it was signed in 1999 and the previous administration had committed to ratifying BIPPA by 2016 but it is still outstanding. Ratifying the BIPPAs will give confidence to investors. I’m happy the new administration has committed to resolving the issue as a matter of urgency,” said Ambassador Enrico De Agostini.
Zimbabwe has signed several investor protection agreements with several Asian and European countries but has failed to bring them for ratification before parliament threatening the flow of foreign direct investment into the country.
The Mnangagwa administration is on a charm offensive to attract foreign investors to help kick-start the economy after years in the doldrums.
Mnangagwa was recently in Switzerland attending the World Economic Forum and declared that the country was now open for business from all parts of the world.
His administration has also significantly watered down the Indigenization and Economic empowerment regulations which had previously impeded foreign investments.