The government is targeting operationalisation of Special Economic Zones (SEZ) by first quarter next year following approval of main structures by regulatory authorities.

Four areas across the country that include Beitbridge, Mutare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls have been granted special economic zones.

While business is bemoaning delays for the full operationalisation of the zones, the Zimbabwe Special Economic Zones Authority (ZIMSEZA) representative Mr Nyasha Mupita confirmed modalities are being finalised, with expectations for the full swing operations next year.

“We are working on the final structures and we anticipate once all is done then we will be in a position to forge ahead with the zones,” he said.

Commitment to attractive incentives will be key to the success of the zones, according to economics lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe, Mr Benson Zwizwai.

“It is all about what it takes for the zones to be a success otherwise we just anticipate them to be vital in the development of the nation,” he said.

According to a global trade journal, SEZ are designated geographical regions that operate under regulations different from other areas in the same country.

They are being implemented in Zimbabwe to restore the economy’s capacity to produce goods and services competitively and attract investments.