Zimbabwe should eliminate various investment obstacles to speed the process of economic recovery from the shrinking global economy, renowned economist, John Robertson has said.
Speaking at a Women’s Institute for Leadership Development social media discussion yesterday, Robertson said choices authorities will make at this juncture, will determine the rate at which the economy recovers.
“The country’s policy choices from now can help our recovery do better than merely keeping up with unfolding worldwide developments. The policy choices we could make should focus on the removal of every barrier placed on the way of the investors needed to rebuild Zimbabwe’s recovery,” he said.
Zimbabwe has seen a massive decline in foreign investment over the year as a result of multiple factors.
Since assuming power in 2017, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration has overseen over US$ 27 billion worth of investment promises from potential investors but actual investment that has taken place has failed to breach US$ 3 billion mark.
Policy inconsistencies, reckless political utterances, red tap in government, human rights abuses and political instability are some of the major deterrents of investment.
Recently, government suspended the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) over alleged abuse by companies in illicit money trading, a development analysts have castigated for disregard of property rights.
The government has been introducing too many controls in the economy which many fear will chase away investors.
“Government created these barriers to give it the means and leverage it needed to direct and control all business activity. Government should now declare its determination to turn Zimbabwe into an investor-friendly destination and one of the benefits we can get from that is we will begin to see its ability to generate food,”
“We need to become food self-sufficient. In a long time now for more than 20 years, Zimbabwe has been depending on importing food and because of that the outflow of foreign currency to pay for that food has left Zimbabwe without money,” he added.
The sentiments come at a time the global economy has been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and global investment and trade are hence expected to suffer in the short to medium term.