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Zimbabwe's Chinamasa Attends Annual Economic, Financial Forum in Peru

Patrick Chinamasa attending the MEFMI forum in Lima, Peru.

Zimbabwe's Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa and Reserve Bank Governor John Mangudya are in Lima, Peru, attending the 2015 Macro-economic and Financial Management Institute of Eastern and Southern Africa (MEFMI) combined annual forum for Ministers of Finance and financial organisations, including the World Bank.

The one-day forum is running under the theme: “Leveraging on natural resources for economic transformation.”

Chinamasa is in Lima at a time when the country's economy is in the intensive care unit with mixed messages coming from different government ministers on the indigenisation policy, which is widely blamed for scaring away investors.

Chinamasa and the other members of the Zimbabwe delegation in Peru.
Chinamasa and the other members of the Zimbabwe delegation in Peru.

The newly-appointed Youth and Indigenization Minister ,Patrick Zhuwao, on Tuesday said the government plans to hold an all-stakeholders conference in a fortnight to come up with a new indigenization strategy amid proposals by Harare to levy foreign-owned companies to fund its empowerment programs, a move critics believe may frustrate efforts to lure investors in Zimbabwe.

MEFMI Director of debt management programme, Raphael Otieno, told VOA Studio 7 countries like Zimbabwe have a lot to learn from such forums.

"Countries such as Zimbabwe can liverage their natural resources to transform their economies so that they can use their gains from natural resources to expand investment in infrastructure to generate more revenue for the budget so that they minimize borrowing," said Otieno.

"For the case of Zimbabwe they have had a serious debt overhang problem, so with better utilization of the natural resources, with better generation of the revenues from natural resources they should be able to address the current debt over hang problem," added Otieno.

The forum also looked at different ways to tackle issues that affect their member states.They included taxation of natural resources and policy issues.

Other topics under discussion included the transformation of depleting natural resources into income growths, sovereign wealth fund management, managing Africa’s revenues in search of stability and diversification.

Chinamasa is expected to meet with World Bank officials on the sidelines of the forum but efforts to get comment from the finance minister were fruitless.

Interview with Mr Raphael Otieno
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