Zimbabwe takes its hunt for foreign direct investment (FDI) to South Africa, and will host an ease of doing business conference in the neighbouring country later this week, organisers have said.
The country remains an FDI leper in the region, attracting $294.66 million in 2016 from $421.2 million in the previous year, reflecting worsening investor sentiment.
By contrast, Zambia attracted investments of $1.8 billion in the first half of 2016, according to the Zambia Development Agency.
“The conference seeks to amplify the fact that Zimbabwe is now open for business and also provide information on the ease of doing business in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is generally a victim of misconceptions out there,” said Anele Ndlovu, president of the Zim- SA Forum in a statement.
Ndlovu said the two- day conference would be held in the neighbouring country from June 23 to June 24.
“The conference will provide a platform where potential investors can hear directly from the proverbial horse’s mouth about what it means to invest in Zimbabwe,” said Ndlovu.
Vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to lead a government delegation to the conference.
While political relations are in order, on the economic front, trade between the two countries is skewed in favour of South Africa and some have referred to Zimbabwe as South Africa’s supermarket because goods produced in the neighboring country dominate shelves of local supermarkets as its industry remains in the doldrums.
According to the Treasury 2017 first quarter bulletin, South Africa remained the biggest trading partner, with exports worth $561 million being recorded during the period against imports of $519 million.
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