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Zimbabwe Seeking $1 Billion Investments in 2014

Most companies have shut down in cities like Bulawayo, leaving hundreds of workers jobsless. (File Photo)
The Zimbabwe Investment Authority says Harare is targeting a one billion dollar investment mark by the end of this year despite concerns by the international community that the investment climate in the country is not conducive for running businesses.

Speaking at the launch of an investment report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, or UNCTAD, chairperson of the Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) board, Nigel Chanakira, said since the beginning of this year, Zimbabwe has approved foreign direct investment transactions worth over $400 million.

Chanakira said his board expects Zimbabwe to realize over one billion dollars in investments by year-end and double the figure by the end 2015.

The ZIA chief, who is also a businessman, said proposals by Zimbabwe to review the indigenization policy have renewed the interest of foreign investors to seed their money into the Zimbabwean economy, especially in the mining sector.

Meanwhile, United Nations Development Program’s economic advisor , Amarakoon Bandara, said Zimbabwe may fail to reach its millennium development goals by 2015 owing to its failure to implement the country’s new economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Socio-Economic Transformation or Zimasset.

Representing deputy finance minister Samuel Undenge, the acting chief economist in the finance ministry, Chengetanai Musarah, said Harare requires at least $30 billion to finance its economic blueprint.

Musarah said the prevailing economic crunch is also contributing to the government’s failure to implement the economic revival plan. However, Musarah said authorities were in the process of reviewing all laws that have a direct bearing on investment in the country, such as the indigenization policy, in order to boost investor confidence.

The World Investment Report 2014 released by UNCTAD in Harare today indicated that most investors now prefer to invest in West African countries. The report also urges developing countries to enter into joint venture partnerships with investors in developed countries in order to improve their economies.