Golden Sibanda Senior Business Reporter
THE Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) says it will highlight major milestones Government has achieved thus far in the ongoing doing business reforms programme when it exhibits at the 60th edition of premier trade facilitation event, Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF).
Investor interest in Zimbabwe has grown considerably driven by an improving investment climate since President Mnangagwa’s reform-minded and pro-business administration came into power in 2017.
Billions of United State dollars in new investments have either been committed or are being invested since the new dispensation was ushered in late 2017.
As such, OPC will also seek to outline what the entire doing business reforms programme entails as part of the Government’s efforts to revamp the ease of doing business in Zimbabwe, which has been very difficult over the years.
The programme entails reviewing legislation, regulations, procedures, business-related costs, turn-around time as well as transactional and administrative bottlenecks that affect existing and prospective businesses in Zimbabwe.
The 2019 edition of ZITF opened on April 23, 2019 and runs until April 27 under the theme “Propagating Industrial Growth Through Trade and Investment”.
“The Office of the President and Cabinet at ZITF (2019) focus is on communicating the Government’s reform agenda as it is a key component of the (Government’s) Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP).
“Show cased at the OPC pavilion is Zimbabwe’s Ease of Doing Business Reforms within the wider Integrated Results Based Management Framework whose underlying objective is to create a business friendly environment,” the OPC said in a statement on Tuesday.
At this the 60th 2019 edition of the ZITF, updates on progress thus far on the ease of doing business reforms, will cover highlights of the achievements that the Government has made since inception 2015.
The OPC highlighted that of special interest in the updates to the business environment is the judicial laws related to settling commercial disputes enacted in 2017 focusing on enforcing contracts and protecting minority investors.
This development has resulted in the establishment of small claims courts in the 10 provinces across the country to deal with civil disputes, and commercial crimes at Magistrate level. The courts’ mandate is to expeditiously deal with commercial disputes, for increased access to justice by our business sector.
The OPC is also showcasing plans for and progress towards the establishment of the One Stop Investment Service Centre (OSISC). In this regard, the Government set up an interim committee of the OSISC in August 2018 to serve as a single point of contact for all investors wishing to invest in Zimbabwe.
The Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA), whose establishing legislation (ZIDA Bill) is at an advanced stage, will make transitional arrangements for the setting up of the OSISC, a premium investment promotion body.
The ZIDA Bill will provide the framework for the dissolution and reconfiguration of agencies such as Zimbabwe Investment Authority, Joint Venture Unit and Special Economic Zones Authority (ZIMSEZA).
The proposed ZIDA Act will therefore repeal the existing statutes establishing entities to be dissolved and create a one stop investment promotion and facilitation centre under which all investors will be provided with high quality services.
Also to be highlighted at the OPC ZITF stand is the Government’s policy framework, particularly communicating to the public how they can participate in policy formulation, and implementation to ensure that policies are inclusive.
In the Second Republic, the Government has come up with a vision 2030, which seeks to achieve an upper middle income status by the year 2030. The Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) has been running from October 2018 and will continue running through to 2020.
Through the ZITF the OPC will also highlight its role in spear-heading the State enterprises and corporate governance reforms with a view to enhancing their efficiency and effectiveness in national service delivery as well as their contribution to the greater economic growth.
The reform programme’s emphasis will be on strengthening good corporate governance practices in state entities through the operationalisation of the Public Entities Corporate Governance Act. Further, reforms will be undertaken through the restructuring, privatisation, bench marking and other measures.