Indian businesses need to have confidence in the market in long term projects if they are to invest in Zimbabwe, the Asian giant’s National Small Industries Corporation Limited (NSIC) has said.
BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
NSIC chairperson, Ravindra Nath told NewsDay on the sidelines of the official proceedings after the visiting Indian business delegation met local businesses that collaborative ventures depended on policies, the ease of doing business and terms of agreements.
“We need to build confidence amongst the two sides such as the ease of doing business, the laws that will be prevailing and how collaborative ventures could be. The projects should be good, viable and be something that is long lasting,” he said.
“Indian businessmen are overreaching overseas. I believe that the world is becoming a global village, so collaborations are the call of the times and I am sure they will last. We need to create more enterprises and that is where the concept of the incubation of entrepreneurship development lies.”
Nath said Indian businessmen wanted viability in projects before investing.
NSIC is a branch of the Indian ministry of Small-to-Medium Enterprises.
The call by Indian businesses comes as the Zimbabwe Investment Authority reported foreign direct investment from India to be just under $60 million in 2016 up from $10 million in the previous year.
The visiting delegation had representatives from 16 companies drawn from technology, manufacturing, textiles, handicrafts, meat, agriculture and electronic small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) sectors among others.
The delegation is currently engaging local businesses in meetings that are currently underway and expected to end on Saturday.
NSIC engaged the Zimbabwe India Chamber of Commerce (ZICC) and Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce through an initiative spearheaded by the Indian embassy in Zimbabwe to help local businesses collaborate with Indian SMEs.
ZICC chairperson, Pradeep Varyani told the delegation that they would feel more comfortable investing, staying and spending their money in Zimbabwe if they avoided following the “negative” media reviews.
Originally, 33 Indian SME businesses were expected into the country. However, 17 failed to make it after representatives faced challenges in processing visas to visit Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) chief executive officer, Richard Mbaiwa said the ease of doing business was a very topical issue to investors.
“It has been something the ZIA and the government of Zimbabwe have been seized with in the last couple of years to ensure that we improve the ease of doing business. I think this is an issue that investors are concerned about,” he said. “We got a lot of players in the SME sector and we hope that these players can discuss and come to some deals with the visiting delegation from India.”
Indian ambassador to Zimbabwe, Rungsung Masakui, told NewsDay he had been working hard to improve bilateral trade and Indian investments into the country.
A memorandum of understanding agreement between the involving the NSIC and local chambers of commerce is expected to be signed today.
Mbaiwa said it was important to have these agreements as a “guideline to investment projects”.
Last year, SMEs contributed about 37,54% or $704,62 billion to the Indian gross domestic product.