Zimbabwe-South Africa Investment and Trade Conference Opens in Johannesburg

Johannesburg — THE Zimbabwe-South Africa investment and trade conference opens here today, with Harare's future socio-economic and political environment expected to dominate the deliberations.

The two-day symposium, running under the theme, "Invest in Zimbabwe, Building Partnership in a Diversified Economy", comes a few weeks after the country successfully held a referendum on the new constitution.

Zimbabwe is also expected to hold national elections by July this year, ending a four-year-old coalition Government formed by the three main political parties.

Some analysts say the "dysfunctional" nature of the coalition Government, characterised by mixed messages on key economic policies, has been a major concern to many potential investors. But the forthcoming national elections could lay the ground for robust economic growth, supported by a massive inflow of Foreign Direct Investment, regardless of which political party wins the poll.

Already, the positive participation by foreigners is prevailing on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange with the offshore money contributing the bulk of the revenue, signalling growing confidence among foreigners. Some big companies are also taking positions with some, particularly mining firms, already indicating plans for multimillion-dollar investments.

Anglo Platinum is considering opening a new mine at a cost of US$400 million, PPC Zimbabwe says it will build a US$200 million cement plant with an annual capacity of one million tonnes, while Zimbabwe Platinum Mines phase two expansion will cost US$460 million.

In an interview in Harare earlier, Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Minister Dr Tapiwa Mashakada said the significance of the conference was to encourage South African investors to start up businesses in Zimbabwe.

"Our message to them would be 'Come and invest in Zimbabwe. We have many opportunities. It is not about who is in power today or who will be in power tomorrow . . . this is the time. Come and do business,'" said Dr Mashakada.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is expected to deliver the keynote address.

Other speakers include Deputy Prime Minister Professor Arthur Mutambara, Industry and Commerce Minister Professor Welshman Ncube, Dr Mashakada, Regional Integration and Co-operation Minister Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, Zimbabwean Ambassador to South Africa Phelekezela Mphoko among others.


via The Herald

Zimbabwe-South Africa Investment and Trade Conference Opens in Johannesburg

The investment conference is aimed at building investment partnership between both countries.