President Robert Mugabe on Friday appealed for more Foreign Direct Investments to stimulate Zimbabwe’s underperforming economy, promising to respect property rights for investors.
Zimbabwe has of late signalled intention to relax its controversial empowerment policy that President Mugabe’s ZANU-PF has championed using a 2008 law that requires all foreign firms, including mines and banks, to have majority control by local blacks.
The country has struggled to attract FDI in recent years or funding for its economic blueprint, ZimAsset due to concerns over the perceived lack of respect for property rights and uncertain business climate and in particular the implementation of the empowerment law.
On Wednesday, finance minister Patrick Chinamasa said the law would be amended to reflect the government’s new stance.
“There is no expropriation or nationalization of shares held by non-indigenous persons in companies as some of our detractors would want the world to believe,” Mugabe said, officially opening the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair.
“In fact there is no imposition of indigenous partners on foreign investors, instead investors are free to identify partners of their choice. With this clarification, let me take this opportunity to invite potential investors to come and do business in Zimbabwe in which there is huge potential for joint venture partnerships between investors, manufacturers, industrialists and the public sector.”