ED pledges policy stability, certainty to business

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President Mnangagwa

HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday pledged to ensure policy stability and consistency as his administration moves to provide an enabling environment for local businesses to prosper and create jobs.

In his inaugural no –holds barred meeting with captains of industry, President Mnangagwa said his government was committed to providing a fertile environment for business to thrive through facilitating trade and investment.

“My government will continue to strive to ensure that there is policy clarity, certainty, cohesion and consistency,” he said to applause.

“We will guard against policy overlap, information asymmetry and policy reversals.”

Investors view policy inconsistency as the missing ingredient that saw  many potential investors choosing to sit on the fence when it came to  investing in the country during the government of former President  Robert Mugabe.

But with the coming of the new administration last November, whose  theme has been “Zimbabwe is open for business,” President Mnangagwa said  the government was working on a cocktail of measures that would enable  the private sector to flourish.

“With the right mindset, right policies, a conducive business  environment, an enabling infrastructure and most importantly, an  aggressive private sector, nothing stands in our way of achieving what  we set out to achieve,” he said.

Establishment of an efficient one stop investment centre, fighting  corruption, review of immigration laws and tariff management systems  were among the long list of reforms that the government plans to  urgently address in line with its theme to attract investment in the  country, he said.

One of the main stumbling blocks to investing in the country, the  Indigenization and Empowerment Act, which demanded that locals be  majority shareholders in companies operating in major economic sectors,  has been virtually scrapped by the new government and only left to apply  to the diamonds and platinum mining sectors.

President Mnangagwa reiterated his desire to turn Zimbabwe into a  middle income economy by the year 2030.

Business leaders presented issues they want the government to address  which would enable them to improve operations.

Shortage of foreign currency was one issue that cut across all sectors  namely banking, mining, agriculture, and manufacturing, which is  impacting on payments for imports of critical raw materials.

Dairibord Holdings chief executive, Anthony Mandiwanza said it was  imperative that business and the government be honest and open with each  other to achieve meaningful progress in turning around the economy.

“We must speak less of known problems and focus on the solutions to the  problems,” he said.

Bankers Association of Zimbabwe president, Dr Charity Jinya said it was  imperative that the government worked with timelines on different issues  and constantly reported back on progress or lack of it.

The leaders spoke on the need to curb corruption, amend laws affecting  performance of the different sectors, and re-alignment of taxes which  made it costly to do business in the country. –  New Ziana

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