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Observers: Comprehensive Reforms Needed to Transform Zimbabwe Economy

  • Irwin  Chifera

FILE - Vendors sells sweets and mobile phone recharge cards in central Harare.

FILE - Vendors sells sweets and mobile phone recharge cards in central Harare.

Economists, business and industry leaders say Zimbabwe remains unattractive for investment, adding that government must implement comprehensive economic reforms as it re-engages international financial institutions seeking money to inject into the faltering economy.

Speaking at a workshop on future economic prospects for Zimbabwe and the re-engagement process, they commended the government for attempting to transform the economy under the International Monetary Fund’s Staff Monitored Program but noted that political will was needed for implementing key reforms.

Professor Mthuli Ncube of Oxford University said much deeper reforms were needed to lift the economy out its current state.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president, Busisa Moyo, said the cost of doing business in Zimbabwe remained high and there was need for policy consistency if the country is to attract significant foreign direct investment.

Moyo said the country’s foreign debt was also preventing industry and business from accessing cheap money from external sources.

While commending government’s re-engagement efforts, Labor and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe director, Godfrey Kanyenze, said government needed more reforms that are pro-poor, which would uplift the living standards of the poor and marginalized in the country.

Reserve Bank governor, John Mangudya, who is chairing the country re-engagement committee, said they are already implementing reforms and Zimbabwe’s economic prospects look bright.

He, however, said it was time everyone adopted a positive attitude towards the development of Zimbabwe.

The experts stressed the need for the country to settle its debt so that it can get funding from international financial institutions to revamp the ailing economy.

Zimbabwe is saddled with an $8 billion external debt and Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the country has no option but to re-engage international finance institutions in order to get the much-needed loans.

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