Finace and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube yesterday said foreign investor interest in Zimbabwe remained impressively high, as seen from the numerous multi-million dollar investment deals concluded in the mining sector.
Speaking in an interview with The Herald ahead of the official opening of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa in Cape Town yesterday, Prof Ncube said the high investor interest was driven by reforms being instituted by Government to refocus and grow the economy.
Minister Ncube is part of President Mnangagwa’s entourage at the WEF 2019 conference that includes Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo, Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza, Energy and Power Development Minister Fortune Chasi, Presidential Spokesperson and Deputy Chief Secretary (Presidential Communications) Mr George Charamba and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mangudya.
This year’s event is running under the theme; “Shaping Inclusive Growth and Shared Futures in the Fourth Industrial Revolution”, which resonates with the thrust of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme and 2019 National Budget.
Prof Ncube said President Mnangagwa was leading the high-powered delegation to the annual conference to make it known to investors and the world that Zimbabwe was indeed open for business and dialogue.
“We are here to meet with investors and interact with public policy makers who have a keenness to connect with Zimbabwe,” he said.
“The interest from investors is still very high. You see it in the mining sector for example, where we are trying to build a US$12 billion (export) industry (by year 2023) and investors have signed agreements or are about to sign agreements; they are very serious.”
Zimbabwe exported US$4 billion worth of goods last year with more than 60 percent being generated by the mining sector mainly gold and platinum.
Prof Ncube added; “Surely, that is a lot of interest and we are noticing that investors are not short-term in their thinking; they are very long term; they are into the medium-term and because of that, they see this as a passing phase.
“So, for those who are not convinced, we are here to tell them that any economic challenges we may be facing; that we are facing are a short-term issue.
“Economies transition over time and we should be able to get this behind us and they get a good return if they invest and that is how they.”
Prof Ncube said the “Zimbabwe is Open for Business” policy was a marathon that required that Government continuously engages investors and answer their questions.