The Zimbabwe Special Economic Zones Authority is mulling introducing incentives for foreign investors who will initiate supportive infrastructure such as water, transport and energy in the designated areas to upscale competitiveness and match the expectations of investors.
Special economic zones are a unique vehicle for a robust industrialisation process and more importantly as a way of attracting foreign direct investment mostly in the manufacturing sector.
The concept has been successfully applied in China and replicated in successful economies such as Malaysia.
Already in Zimbabwe, the special economic zones are attracting a flurry of enquiries from a number of source markets including Japan, India, the UK and China who are eyeing investments in key sectors such as manufacturing, energy and agriculture.
Zimbabwe Special Economic Zones CEO, Mr Edwin Kondo said evidence shows that special economic zones thrive in economies with adequate infrastructure and this should form the basis of focus for Zimbabwe going forward.
Essentially, this will mean more work for the authority to come up with resource mobilisation mechanisms to sustainably finance key infrastructure projects in order to unlock the full potential of the zones.
Reforms on some of the bottlenecks on the ease of doing business are a positive step to attracting investment in these zones and Zimbabwe Special Economic Zones Chairperson, Dr Gideon Gono promised to completely breakaway from the bureaucratic and lethargy processes that have stifled investments in the past.
A hint towards the gazetting of incentives for investors under the special economic zones within the next week is eagerly anticipated, with experts concurring that it will be a further pedestal to attracting foreign direct investment inflows into the country.