Zimbabwe as a new gateway into Africa

Zimbabwe as a new gateway into Africa
Published: 05 November 2018 (1357 Views)
ON Friday afternoon of 2 November 2018, I visited Surface Wilmar based in Chitungwiza, Harare. The company is owned by one of the largest companies in the world in the production of edible oils, based in Singapore. The factory floors are most impressive and world class, and it was not lost to me that this was right in the middle of Chitungwiza.

To see this modern plant operated by automated robotic systems, making it one of the most efficient companies in Africa in the edible oils sector, was uplifting, as the last time I have visited a robot-controlled factory was in Hyundai in South Korea a few years ago.

The futuristic robotic systems controlled factor floors at Surface Wilmar are testimony to the aspirations of Vision 2030, and the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP), that Zimbabwe can become the gateway to investment into Africa.

Turning Zimbabwe into a gateway into Africa means establishing an Offshore Investment Centre with strong links to the Zimbabwe One-Stop-Investment Shop which processes investments. This needs to be seriously explored for Zimbabwe to continue to attract global investors such as Surface Wilmar from Singapore. This means all new foreign investment into Zimbabwe, going forward, could be registered in the Offshore Centre, giving foreign investors similar benefits as are enjoyed in centres such as Mauritius, Guernsey and Isle of Man.

There are many reasons why Zimbabwe could be a successful gateway into Africa, through the Offshore Centre.

First, Zimbabwe has a highly educated population with the requisite skills to service such an offshore centre. The competent crop of legal firms, accounting firms and other service providers can successfully provide the services needed to support the offshore centre.

Second, Zimbabwe has a strong regulatory environment in the form of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, tax regulator (ZIMRA), securities regulators, among others. These regulators are already operating at global standards and are globally compliant in their approaches.

Third, the multi-currency regime positions Zimbabwe as an ideal place for foreign investors to preserve their value in hard currency. Even, investors from neighbouring countries could find Zimbabwe very attractive in terms of value preservation, apart from the investments that Zimbabwe offers in the first place.

Fourth, locally the Offshore Investment Centre could also help stem any unnecessary capital outflows out of Zimbabwe, as the country would be as good as any centre in the world for offshore investments.

Fifth, while there is need to make more investments in Zimbabwe's infrastructure, the current infrastructure is very good by standards on the African continent, outside South Africa. Having traversed the whole of Africa, in the last 20 years, and when I was with the African Development Bank, I am convinced that Zimbabwe has very good infrastructure. This again makes the country an attractive location for an Offshore Investment Centre.

Sixth, one of the benefits to be offered by the Offshore Investment Centre is a special low tax environment for any company that invests through it. ZIMRA has the capacity to administer this dual tax environment of offshore investors and domestic investors. ZIMRA is a member of Africa Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) which ensures that its systems, processes, capacity and capabilities are of world standards.

Finally, Zimbabwe banks have the capacity to offer world class custodial services and administrators can equally offer administrative services, where they are required by foreign investors, in addition to the capacity offered by accounting firms and legal firms.

Turning Zimbabwe into a gateway into Africa, means establishing such an Offshore Investment Centre. This vision means that investors would now come into Zimbabwe to access the entire opportunity in the region and the rest of Africa, and not just Zimbabwe.

It is doable, and sends the right signal that Zimbabwe is truly open for business, even beyond its borders.

Hon Prof Mthuli Ncube is Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Zimbabwe

- Minister of Finance Prof Mthuli Ncube

 0

You May Like These Videos

Comments

There are no comments.

Latest stories

WATCH: Apostle Vutabwashe blasts Mnangagwa's government

by Mandla Ndlovu | 22 April 2019 | 63 Views

Analysts defend Tinashe Kachingwe

by Mandla Ndlovu | 22 April 2019 | 36 Views

'Corruption and cronyism worrying Mnangagwa' ZANU PF MP says

by Mandla Ndlovu | 22 April 2019 | 51 Views

ZANU PF launches 10 000 youths to fight for a mine?

by Mandla Ndlovu | 22 April 2019 | 60 Views

Cyclone Idai victims resist tent homes

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2019 | 40 Views

Price controls the only way to go, says Mutodi

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2019 | 35 Views

Chamisa faces VPs Dilemma

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2019 | 40 Views

Cyclone Idai donations 'looting' soldiers freed

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2019 | 36 Views

Churches taking anti-sanctions crusade to opposition parties

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2019 | 31 Views

Registrar of Deeds dragged to court

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2019 | 34 Views

Chamisa urged to back Mwonzora's bid

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2019 | 25 Views

Bosso, Dembare beaten again

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2019 | 36 Views

Minister fouls Mnangagwa's plans fouled by Owen Ncube

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2019 | 37 Views

Tsvangirai turning in his grave, says daughter

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2019 | 34 Views

Mnangagwa pleads with Diasporans

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2019 | 35 Views

Chamisa unveils Mwonzora, Mudzuri rescue plan

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2019 | 31 Views

11 dead in kombi, Honda fit head-on accident

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2019 | 37 Views

War vets slam bread price hike

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2019 | 101 Views

Charumbira calls for truce in boundary row

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2019 | 82 Views

Mnangagwa hopeful on economy

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2019 | 94 Views

Revolution is the great teacher

by Reason Wafawarova | 22 April 2019 | 70 Views

Econet raises RTGS$479 287 for Idai relief through EcoCash

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2019 | 66 Views

Chief Mvuthu's family in fresh wrangle

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2019 | 66 Views

'Mnangagwa to crack whip on errand businesses'

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2019 | 67 Views

Artisanal miner shot dead

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2019 | 65 Views

'Zimbabwe public finances in bad shape'

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2019 | 38 Views

It's time for South Africa to rethink the economy

by Tapiwa Gomo | 22 April 2019 | 57 Views

'Mnangagwa won't take Zimbabwe anywhere'

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2019 | 67 Views

Military rifle recovered from poachers

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2019 | 67 Views

MDC led council not going back on tariff increase

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2019 | 57 Views

Mnangagwa told to be realistic

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2019 | 69 Views

'Wanton price hikes signify indiscipline'

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2019 | 67 Views

Where is Mnangagwa taking us to?

by Eddie Cross | 22 April 2019 | 82 Views

Rank marshal jailed over witchcraft rant

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2019 | 68 Views

Bosso brace for Triangle

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2019 | 63 Views

Confusion over Sadomba suspension

by Staff reporter | 22 April 2019 | 55 Views