Following the French Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Richard Boidin’s remarks in which he rubbished the sanctions narrative as an impediment to investment in the country, Britain has joined the chorus citing weak confidence in the rule of law and foreign currency exchange rate issues as the main barriers to economic growth.
While addressing invited guests at the official commissioning of a USD$ 1 Million Weber plant for tile adhesives in Harare by a French-owned company, Saint-Gobain Construction Products Zimbabwe, Boidin said individual Western companies would not ignore chances of high margin profits in any country despite imposed sanctions on the subject nation.
“That a company like Saint-Gobain decided to invest in Zimbabwe, is a strong message alongside other French companies and brands like Lafarge Lessafre, AGS and Total operating locally.
“You may hear sanctions this, sanctions that, but the truth of the matter is they do not stop any company from investing. Companies are after profit that is the main thing they pursue anywhere around the world,” said Boidin.
Commenting on story published on 263Chat, United Kingdom Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Melanie Robinson supported her French counterpart trashing the sanctions mantra which she said play no role in lack of investment opportunities.
“Also true for British companies. We have $1.9bn existing investments. But British companies repeatedly say the impediments to more investment are FX/exchange rate issues, lack of investible 99-year leases and weak confidence in the rule of law. Sanctions play no role,” she said.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zanu PF have blamed sanctions for the poor state of the economy but the opposition and western governments have insisted on corruption and reluctance to institute political reforms as the stumbling block to foreign direct investment.
The government has also escalated its anti-sanctions fight to SADC and the African Union who have also joined the chorus in denouncing the embargo.