18 April 2019

Zimbabwe: Mauritian Firm Mulls U.S.$30 Million Investment

Solar-powered television maker Electronics Manufacturing Limited, a Mauritian company, is ready to invest approximately US$30 million in Zimbabwe if it finds a suitable project, businessdigest has learnt.

This emerged in business meetings between a delegation from the Economic Development Board of Mauritius and Zimbabwean captains of industry.

The delegation comprised representatives of nine different companies which manufacture detergents, textiles, metal and fabrication. The Mauritians came to explore opportunities and engage with local suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers and traders from the private sector with the aim of creating strategic business links.

Speaking at the Zimbabwe-Mauritius business exchange held on Monday, Electronics Manufacturing Limited CE Jonid Dowlut said the Mauritians are ready to do business in Zimbabwe.

"To be honest, if we can come up with a project that makes sense, investment is not a problem. In Mauritius we invest in several million in US dollars, we have got a new factory that is going to come and we are looking at US$30 million investment," he said.

Dowlut said his company is looking forward to trading with Zimbabwe since the country has immense business potential.

"What we are seeking is not only to bring stuff to Zimbabwe and Zambia, we need to trade both ways, so this is how we will work. Zimbabwe has a lot of land, you have a lot of potential in agriculture. Today we import vegetables from South Africa, so you see South Africa is more developed so normally prices are much higher, so there are things where there is more opportunity for us to be trading with people from Zimbabwe," he said.

He said doing business in Zimbabwe will make it easier for the company to create a foothold and penetrate other African countries. Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers president Denford Mutashu said his organisation is keen on helping to promote the government's "Zimbabwe is open for business" mantra, as evidenced by the huge role the private sector is playing in facilitating trade in the country.

"We have come to realise that the private sector has got a huge role to play in facilitating trade between different countries and among us countries in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, Southern African Development Community, as well as inter-continental trade and it is our role as private sector to help government in terms of the 'Zimbabwe is open for business' which was launched by President (Emmerson) Mnangagwa in order to promote and bring in trade and business to the country," Mutashu said.

"Our call and engagement with our partners is that we need to promote investment in primary industry, investment in agriculture and the manufacturing sector and this is the beginning of a very long-term relationship, which is going to culminate in more and more business coming to Zimbabwe from Mauritius," he said.

Mutashu said there is a need for more manufacturers to come into Zimbabwe in order for the country to have price stability, adding that the current instability in prices is as a result of low production.

"The good thing about Zimbabwe is that the market is there. Right now we have few manufacturers and we need to have more and more manufacturers in light of the current price instabilities. The function of price instability actually is a symptom of lack of consistent supply, lack of production," he said.

He said solar television sets would assist in reducing demand for electricity at household level.

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