'Scrap Zim-Angola visa'

HARARE - The Zimbabwe and Angola business community have appealed to their respective governments to relax visa requirements or scrap the visa altogether between the two countries to enhance trade.

Julio Mateus, Zimbabwe Angola Business Community (Zaba) vice chairperson, told a breakfast meeting the visa was hindering business between the two countries.

“As the business community, we feel there is a lot of potential from both countries,” Mateus said.

“Angola has the money and Zimbabwe has the human capital. What we want is for our governments to ease the visa requirements so that we can trade.”

Zaba is a business cluster made up of Zimbabwean and Angolan nationals. It was formed last year and aims at exploring investment potential in the two countries.

This has come at a time Zimbabwe is aggressively seeking foreign direct investment (FDI) amid concerns by economists that Zimbabwe’s investment laws were repelling FDI.

The two countries last year signed a mining Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will see Angola’s Catoca, one of the world’s largest diamond producers, exploring two fields in Zimbabwe by year end.

In March, a Zimbabwean delegation led by Munyaradzi Paul Mangwana toured Angola in a pioneer business scouting expedition, and another Angolan delegation is expected in the country in May.

Mangwana said the visa scrapping would make Zimbabwe more attractive to Angolan investors.

“Our country is already in an investment crisis; removing the visa will just make it a very attractive investment ground for the Angolans who are keen to invest in Zimbabwe, I must add,” Mangwana said.

Mateus said the visa restrictions were making both destinations unattractive.

Former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor Kombo Moyana told the breakfast meeting that the scrapping of the visa would help the two countries tap into the investment potential both countries present to each other.

“If the respective governments can agree on the visa issue and scrap it, there are a lot of areas where we can capitalise on the country’s vibrant economy because Angola needs the skills that Zimbabweans possess, while Zimbabwe needs the money that Angola has in abundance,” Moyana said.

He said the current visa restrictions should not hinder Zimbabwean businesses from taking advantage of the intra-African trade partnerships to boost the performance of their companies and national economies.

“The visa resolution could take time to fix, but businesses should still trade,” the former RBZ boss told delegates.

“Zimbabwean business are assured of preferential treatment in the event that they indicate their interest in engaging in any form of business in Angola, so they should trade regardless of the visa restrictions.”

Comments (2)

If they remove the visa we will be in Luanda in no time and teach their citizens English as well as share all the knowledge we have with them. Ltes go frontline states

Brighton - 22 April 2014

Visa on a SADC country is not feasible it defeats the creation of 'SADC'. Let's get rid of it

Marshall - 22 April 2014

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