The government has gazetted regulations allowing two multi-billion dollar projects to enjoy tax benefits and incentives as special economic zones (SEZ) in a move expected to increase exports, facilitate value added products and create employment opportunities.

According to Statutory Instrument 381 of 2019 issued on Friday, the Arcadia Lithium Mine Project has been granted a special economic zones (SEZ) status and will enjoy incentives in a move expected to result in the business activity creating more opportunities in the lithium value chain.

The multi-billion dollar project will also be required to provide a value chain system where the mineral commodity will be processed locally at low costs with the focus being towards the manufacture of batteries.

Statutory Instrument 382 of 2019 states that the Borrowdale based medical project, Vislink will also enjoy several incentives with its main thrust being towards the setting up of a medical hub for the country.

The development is expected to result in Vislink becoming an affordable project that can provide drugs locally at cheaper prices, while also easing the burden of locals in seeking medical products externally or abroad.

A Singapore based investor, Mr Gabriel Arezio, who is in the country looking for businesses in mining, agriculture and construction, said the special economic zones model is very important but will be a success in Zimbabwe if the government sticks to its promises.

“It can be a success but the problem we are facing is of projects that are merely a talk show, so if the Zimbabwean government is really committed to the project then we can see it being a real success,” he said.

Zimbabwe has developed special economic zones to increase investment in key productive sectors of the economy and to facilitate rapid economic growth, by providing tax and other fiscal incentives to attract foreign direct investment, create jobs, increase value addition, create linkages with the domestic economy and ensure skills transfer and technological advancement.