ECONOMIC growth is expected to accelerate in the next five years, buoyed by an upsurge in resource exports and increased foreign direct investment. Imara chief executive Mr John Legat told investors at the ongoing Imara investment conference on Zimbabwe in Harare yesterday that the country would become a huge exporter of resources in the next five years.
He said this would include gold, chrome, platinum and coal.
The economy is expected to grow by 9,3 percent this year, propelled by mining and agriculture.
Mr Legat said Zimbabwe faced short-term investment risks but is bullish in the medium to long term. He said serious investors had already taken positions and were investing in the country.
"Zimbabwe is going to import less food because we would be producing and in the next five years, that would be the time to start building power stations and even exporting power into the region," he said.
"What is encouraging is the seriousness of investors who are already here."
The investment conference attracted about 60 fund managers from the region and from around the world, with special interest on Zimbabwe.
The mining sector is expected to grow by about 15 percent this year and further growth is anticipated in 2013.
Growth in the resources sector has been attributed to firming commodity prices, strategies to lower electricity supply interruptions and additional private capital injections.
The agricultural sector is expected to grow by 11 percent this year on the back of increased funding initiatives.
Retailers Association of Zimbabwe president Mr Themba Ndebele, who is also chief executive for Truworths, said FDI would be slow but would increase in the medium term.
"Capital inflows would be slow for now but would increase in the medium term. Companies would be maintaining their equipment and embark on full recapitalisation of the business later," said Mr Ndebele.
He said mostly South African companies had already started investing heavily in the economy.
Mr Legat said the economy faced tight liquidity conditions but there have been improvements since December last year.
Broad money supply growth increased 34 percent, an indication that there had been an improvement in liquidity.
Another analyst said the country had been recording increased Diaspora remittances, thus improving the liquidity conditions in the market.
An additional US$200 million is also expected from nostro accounts after the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the Ministry of Finance compelled them to localise 25 percent of their bank balances.
PTA Bank has also been making some advances to local private companies through local banks.
The bank is looking at lending out US$500 million in 2012 in Southern Africa. Most corporates which have benefited were borrowing at 11 percent per annum.
In the absence of cheap long-term funding local banks have been charging huge premiums on supply of funds with high interest rates averaging 20 percent per annum.