By Tawanda Musarurwa
Nine companies have been granted Special Economic Zone status in a development that will expedite Government’s drive to increase foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows.
According to a Government Gazette published last Friday, the nine companies include Surewin Pvt Ltd; Iron Steel Company of Zimbabwe; Afrochine Pvt Ltd, Southpole Consulting Pvt Ltd; Lentsloane Pvt Ltd; Tradekings Zimbabwe Pvt Ltd; Ecosoft Pvt Ltd; Nkonyeni Agriculture Pvt Ltd and Bernard Development Corporation Pvt Ltd.
This follows the gazetting of Statutory Instrument (SI) 154 of 2018 which was gazetted on August 17, 2018 that effectively brought Special Economic Zones (SEZs) into operation.
SI-154 stipulated the fees for every application for a developer, operator or investment, permit or licence.
“Our regulations were published and became law, and they gave us the ability to start licensing investors in Special Economic Zones,” said Zimbabwe Special Economic Zones Authority (ZimSEZA) chief executive Edwin Kondo.
The declaration of the SEZs means the Authority can now fully get down to the work of attracting foreign investors to the SEZs.
A special economic zone is an area in a country that is subject to unique economic regulations that differ from other areas in the same country as its regulations tend to be conducive to attracting FDI.
Zimbabwe’s SEZs are being established to fulfil the following objectives: to restore the economy’s capacity to produce goods and services competitively; to create economies of scale good enough for the locator of the proposed SEZs to be internationally competitive; to ensure inclusive growth emanating from the spread of growth nodes and diversified provincial offerings; to maximise the economic benefits of a given geographical location and its stakeholders, and to attract more investment from the international community.
Surewin Pvt Ltd will operate the Sunway City Technology Park Special Economic Zone, while Iron Steel Company of Zimbabwe Pvt Ltd will operate the Zisco Special Economic Zone, and Afrochine Pvt Ltd will run the Selous Afrochine Special Economic Zone. Southpole Consulting Pvt Ltd is the main investor in the Victoria Falls Special Economic Zone, while Lentsloane will operate the Norton Business Park Special Economic Zone, and Tradekings Zimbabwe are main investors in the Workington Tradekings Special Economic Zone.
Ecosoft will operate the Ecosoft Special Economic Zone, while Nkonyeni Agriculture will run the Nkonyeni Agric-Hub Special Economic Zone, and Bernard Development Corporation will run the Bernard Diamond and Jewelry Centre Special Economic Zone.
Mr Kondo said to date the Authority has received a significant amount of interest from a lot of foreign investors across the globe.
“These include our traditional friends the Chinese and we also have significant interest from the British and Americans to say the least.”