The Herald (Harare)

19 February 2013

Zimbabwe in Drive to Boost FDI

ZIMBABWE is set to boost Foreign Direct Investment into the country by adopting the Comesa/United Nations Conference on Trade and Development-initiated programme which seeks to assist member states in engaging in international standards in the compilation and reporting on FDI statistics for comparability reasons.

Addressing delegates on behalf of Comesa secretary-general Mr Sindiso Ngwenya at the Harare opening ceremony of a three-day national workshop on FDI statistics in Zimbabwe, director of investment promotion and private sector development Mr Thierry Mutombo Kalonji emphasised the importance of statistics in any organisation.

"Statistics are very important tools for policy formulation in planning processes for any government or institution.

"More specifically, FDI data gives a clear picture of the economic activities of the foreign affiliates and their importance to the host economy," he said.

A comprehensive system of FDI statistics was an advantage to the host nation as it could contain up-to-date vital data regarding operations of

the foreign affiliates, some of which include their assets, the extent to which it creates jobs for the locals

and the exports and imports that come with the investment.

"Operations of the foreign affiliates, such as those related to assets, job creation, export and imports, are important as they enable policymakers to assess the economic impact of FDI for their country, to monitor the trends and performance of those foreign affiliates in the host economy," he said.

But he emphasised the need to manage such statistics well as they had the potential to assist Government in decision-making when it came to issues of negotiating bilateral or multilateral treaties.

Zimbabwe Investment Authority chief executive officer Mr Richard Mbaiwa paid tribute to Unctad for the their support in ensuring Comesa member states benefit from their world investment reports.

"Unctad world investment report has been a useful tool to Zimbabwe, as it provides a basis of comparing investment trends and figures with the rest of the world and the region, in particular, so that we can be able to take appropriate steps in keeping abreast with international standards that ensure continued investment interest," he said.

"Consistency and reliability in data collection in all Comesa member states will also ensure continued growth in FDI in our region."

The workshop is running under the theme "FDI Statistics in Zimbabwe: Survey Methodologies in Collecting Data on FDI and TNC Activities".

Zimbabwe is set to benefit immensely from this training workshop with regards to the collection, compilation and reporting on FDI statistics.

Delegates include officials from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Investment Authority, Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, Government ministries and the private sector.

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