czi president.jpgDelays by the Ministry of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion to  facilitate the establishment of a one-stop investment shop aimed at solving challenges affecting investors in setting up companies around the country has raised stakeholder concern about commitment from the relevant authorities in facilitating economic recovery.

   
When government earlier this year announced plans to transform operations of the Zimbabwe Investment Authority to a one-stop investment shop, there was hope that the plan would increase investment inflows, create new jobs, facilitate foreign exchange generation and stabilise macro- economic variables.

 

But with less than two months before year end, industrialists are concerned as to whether the one stop investment concept will take shape.

 

The delay in setting up the one stop investment shop has also raised questions on whether the responsible ministry is committed towards boosting investment and ensuring that it fulfills its promise for the betterment of the economy.

 

A policy document by the ministry Economic Planning and Investment Promotion when it was under Minister Elton Mangoma was rejected by cabinet and the ministry is now been run by Minister Tapiwa Mashakada.

 

While the concept is aimed at reducing the time taken to approve a proposed investment project from the current six months to  five days as well as ensuring that all investment procedures are done under one roof, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries

President, Mr. Joseph Kanyekanye, says it is within the interest of the economy that such a concept should not be a failure.

 

Taking into account the fact that most SADC member economies have implemented the concept and are on course to attract both local, regional and external investors, the Zimbabwe Textiles and Manufacturers Association Chairman, Mr. Tararama Gutu, says Zimbabwe should not lag behind in terms of competitiveness with regional member states, but instead a mechanism to increase investments should be put in place.

 

Minister of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion, Mr. Tapiwa Mashakada, however says the one stop investment shop will become a reality on 29 November this year.

 

While assurances have been done by the Ministry relating to the official launch of the project, stakeholders will be taking stock of the remaining days to assess whether the one stop investment shop will be operational in what is expected to be a landmark event in harmonizing investment procedures.

 

On the 4th of this month, the International Finance Corporation’s Doing Business Report indicated that Zimbabwe had slid one position down to number 157 from 183 countries in the groups ranking on environments that promote investment.

 

The IFC recommended the simplification of investment procedures so as to facilitate investment.