Dickson Mangena, Business Reporter
THE Special Economic Zones (SEZs) board is expected to be announced soon as the process of choosing its members is at an advanced stage.
This was revealed by the Minister of Macro-Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Minister, Dr Obert Mpofu.
President Mugabe signed into law the SEZs Bill last year. The policy is expected to see the country attracting Foreign Direct Investment and to establish an appropriate regulatory and policy infrastructure to enable local and regional trade to flourish.
The enactment of the SEZs Act sets the tone for the setting-up of SEZs after five years of working and consultations on the crafting of the document.
“The process (of appointing a SEZs board) is going on accordingly and when we are ready we will announce,” said Dr Mpofu.
Captains of industry are calling on the Government to expedite the setting up of the SEZs Authority to ensure improved inflow of Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs).
“The Government should expedite the policy as delays will likely reduce investor appetite. Investors will not wait for us but they may end up looking elsewhere to invest, if we further delay the setting up of the policy. The policy has attracted interest and is going to rejuvenate investor confidence, but the delay might undo all that,” said the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce president, Mr Davison Norupiri.
Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Mr Busisa Moyo is on record as having said: “We now urge that implementation be swift in creating the SEZs Authority which will oversee activities and demarcation of such zones around the country. Dialogue around implementation with entrepreneurs and potential investors is now key.”
Zimbabwe selected three locations for the setting-up of pilot SEZs namely Sunway City Integrated Industrial Park in Harare, the Victoria Falls Financial Hub and the Bulawayo Industrial Hub would be used for trial runs before the SEZ initiative is spread to the rest of the country.
SEZs allow investors to operate under “special” conditions that are different from the rest of the economy.