WASHINGTON DC —
The former president of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC), Luxon Zembe, is urging industry and the government to work together to raise more than $20 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) needed for the country’s economic revival.
Foreign direct investment in the country has been reduced to a trickle with the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries chairman Cephas Msipa telling the Herald newspaper that the country’s manufacturing sector requires $8 billion for capitalization.
Economists and the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions have warned that the economic crisis might worsen this year if there is no foreign direct investment as more and more companies continue to close shop.
Presenting Zimbabwe’s 2014 national budget recently, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said key economic challenges included limited external inflows in the form of foreign direct investment, lines of credit and grants linked to high country risk premium resulting in low investor confidence.
Chinamasa said both local and foreign direct investment is most welcome, and vigorously promoted.
He further noted that the trade balance between the country’s recorded exports and imports of around US$3.7 billion for January-October 2013 was a cause for concern.
Total exports for the period January to October 2013 stood at US$2.8 billion, this is against US$3.2 billion realised during the same period in 2012.
Government and economists believe that the declining growth in exports is a reflection of the overall slowdown in the real economic activities. By the end of 2013, exports are projected to reach US$4.430 billion.
In 2014, growth in exports is hinged on the overall performance of the economy. Exports are expected to reach US$5.0 billion.