6 May 2014

Zimbabwe: Let's End Confrontation With West - Chinamasa

ZIMBABWE is ready to fine-tune policies to lure foreign investment instead of enforcing policies that might cause confrontation with foreign investors, the country's top economic official said Monday.

Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa told an industrial conference in Harare that Zimbabwe is looking for new friendships, new opportunities while consolidating old ones.

"We are looking for mutually beneficial economic relationships not confrontation. We are too small a country to pursue a policy of confrontation," Chinamasa said.

He added that Zimbabwe was open for foreign direct investment from all countries and that the business partnerships it forges must be done without preconditions.

The country is facing severe liquidity challenges and a slower economic growth rate of around 3 percent.

Critics have blamed the government's indigenization policy, among others, for stalling foreign investment inflows.

The indigenization, which was enacted in 2010, requires foreign businesses operating in the country to cede 51 percent share- holding to black Zimbabweans.

But there are signs the government can show some flexibility on the implementation of the policy, especially in the struggling banking sector.

Meanwhile, Chinamasa said the government will also give the Zimbabwe Investment Authority the full authority to determine investment conditions as a one-stop-shop to cut down on bureaucracy.

The finance minister also said Zimbabwe expects sanctions imposed by the West to be removed as they have become an inherent constraint on the country's economic recovery.

The U.S. sanctions, for example, effectively ban American citizens from doing businesses with individuals and entities on the black list.


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