HARARE - Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Zimbabwe increased by 36 percent to $545 million in 2014 from $400 million registered in 2013, according to the latest United National Conference on Trade and Development United Nations (UNCTAD) report.
Richard Mbaiwa, Zimbabwe Investment Authority (Zia) chief executive on Wednesday said that the growth in FDI was mainly spurred by interests in mining, manufacturing and the services sector.
“Despite regional FDI remaining flat at $54 billion as shown by the report, Zimbabwe recorded a significant improvement as investors have taken a keen interest into these various sectors. Trends also highlight that some investors have taken a liking in road infrastructure development,” Mbaiwa told stakeholders at the launch of the UNCTAD World Investment Report for 2015.
The report also showed that while the FDI inflows into Zimbabwe had increased, the country still lagged behind other peers from the southern African region.
According to the report, FDIs to Zambia increased to $2,4 billion from $1,8 billion while inflows to South Africa fell to $5,7 billion from $8,3 billion.
Angola recorded $3,8 billion in FDIs from $7,1 billion while Botswana was flat on $390 million. Swaziland recorded FDIs worth $13 million.
Desire Sibanda, the Economic Planning ministry’s permanent secretary said the country was receiving more investor delegations as the country re-engages with the international community.
“To date, Zimbabwe has received about 30 delegations scouting for investment opportunities. We view this as a positive occurrence as investors are now open to the vast investment openings,” said Sibanda.
Simon Khaya Moyo, the Economic Planning minister also said government was in the process of coming up with measures to improve the ease of doing business environment in the country.
“When investors come, we don’t want them to have a hard time. As we speak, an investment handbook is being worked on, to ensure that we have all the opportunities narrowed down in black and white.
“We are also working on regional economies to make sure that investment is concentrated in regions to decentralise activities and ensure investment cascades to the respective regions in the country,” Moyo said.
Investment-starved Zimbabwe has been desperately trying to attract FDI and access international lines of credit in order to revive its moribund economy.
Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa has already projected FDI to increase by 69 percent in 2015 on the back of continued implementation of reforms and the global community re-engagement process.