Pretoria -Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe has called on business to invest in Zimbabwe, saying there were vast opportunities in the neighbouring country.
Thabethe is in Zimbabwe as part of the dti’s Investment and Trade Initiative (ITI), together with a 45-person business delegation.
“Zimbabwe has been carrying out economic and structural reforms, which have improved economic performance and sustained growth. Since 2009, Zimbabwe has had positive growth rates above 5% per annum, reaching 5.9% in 2010,” said Thabethe on Monday.
She was speaking on the first day of the ITI at a business seminar attended by over 250 business people at the Rainbow Towers hotel in Harare.
The deputy minister said investment in the development of infrastructure in Zimbabwe would have a high rate of return as it would lead to increased demand for manufactured and capital equipment.
“There are enormous opportunities in the development of the continent’s vast resources, and the creation of critical infrastructure in roads, railways, ports and utilities. Business people from across the continent, including South Africa and Zimbabwe, can take advantage of opportunities presented by these developments.”
South African companies have since 2003 undertaken investment projects in Zimbabwe totalling over R10.87 billion. The investment projects have contributed to the creation of over 2 000 jobs in the metals, minerals, tourism and financial services in the neighbouring country.
Zimbabwean Deputy Minister of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion, Dr Samuel Undenge, said government had launched the medium term economic plan aimed at growing, stabilising and transforming the Zimbabwean economy, making it easier for foreign companies to invest in the country and establish partnerships with Zimbabwean companies.
In 2011, trade between South Africa and Zimbabwe stood at R20 billion, while foreign direct investment from Zimbabwe to South Africa, between 2003 and 2010, amounted to US$154 million.
The ITI will conclude in Bulawayo on Thursday.
Source: BuaNews – 27 March 2012