Zim moves to address cost of doing business

HARARE - Zimbabwe has formed two committees tasked with improving the cost and ease of doing business in the country, and also to control inflow of imports.

Industry minister Mike Bimha said the first committee will “identify the causes of increased cost of doing business and other areas which have resulted in the country’s industry becoming less competitive”.

This comes as the country declined two positions to 170 out of 185 countries in a World Bank ease of doing business survey released recently.

Despite the adoption of an economic blueprint, ZimAsset, targeted at unlocking Zimbabwe’s economic potential, the country fared poorly on most indicators, ranking 150 ease of starting a business, 170 on dealing with construction permits, getting electricity 157, trading across borders 167, enforcing contracts 118 and 156 on resolving insolvency.

The country’s trade deficit has also widened to $4,2 billion from $3,7 billion as it remains a net importer.

Bimha said the committee — to be headed by legal practitioner Maureen Chitehwe — would “provide specific approaches and measures required to improve the status quo in line with doing business in the country”.

“We need them to analyse available reports, research studies and data in order to proffer specific interventions and a road map to improve the situation,” he said.

He added that the Chitehwe-led committee should be able to identify the challenges faced in starting a business, sustaining production, getting raw materials and accessing credit lines.

They will also look at the cost of borrowing as well as loans payback periods.

Members of the committee are Brian Kangondo, Adam Molai, Osborne Majuru, Betty Nhachi and Clifford Sileya.

On the other hand, Bimha set up an advisory committee on imports.

The committee is chaired by Mike Nyabadza and includes Tracey Mutaviri, James Maphosa, Eve Gadzikwa and Sibusiso Moyo.

Bimha said the committee will have to establish how goods are currently imported into Zimbabwe, legally or through smuggling, and the quantities involved.

“There has been an outcry in terms of cheap products coming into the country at the expense of local manufacturers. Local manufacturers have been rendered uncompetitive,” he said.

He added that there was a growing concern over importers who use fake licenses, flooding the market with cheap imports.

Bimha said Zimbabwe has been poorly ranked in attracting investment, adding that the country was in dire need of both foreign and local capital, hence the establishment of the committees.

Comments (7)

Come on do we really need that ? Cost of energy, cost of water, bureaucracy in our structures within govt, poor policy implementation, insincerity and corruption within higher offices to name a few. Why pretend as if we don't know our problems in Zimbabwe if it is not an idea to appear relevant and create more jobs for each other at the expense of an economy faced with a high wage bill....I say that is not necessary.

Hey - 17 June 2014

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..boreholes.. - 17 June 2014

Always "finding out", but never any action! start with minesterial corruption!

Tongogara - 17 June 2014

No need for research: It will take an investor 6 months and lots of dollars to get a licence from the ministry of mines, another 4 months and more dollars to get an EMA certificate, ZESA - well that's another story which also will have a levy for rural electrification! Water - you must drill your own borehole. If you still have the energy and perseverence - you procede to Zimra for the ITF 263, then register with some NEC, NSSA, Manpower Dev. Fund, Standards, the relevant Pension fund - don't forget the union will want their own pound of flesh. All those payments come off the top line thus are direct costs. How do you become price competitive when you eventually manufacture? No need for another talk shop if you look at these.

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They must also look at the rentals for business premises. If possible be reduced to acceptable levels like was done with "mega salaries"

Joe - 18 June 2014

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