Zim targets British investors

HARARE - Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya are in London this week as they intensify their drive to woo international investors as part of the re-engagement process.

Mangudya left Harare for London yesterday for a week-long mission, which will see him and Chinamasa meeting British investors and later European business people.

The central bank chief, who will link up with Chinamasa in the United Kingdom capital, yesterday told businessdaily that the purpose of the mission was “to present and garner support on the re-engagement plan from the financial markets in the UK and Europe”.

“We are going to highlight trade and investment opportunities in Zimbabwe and to show that the country is back in business,” Mangudya added.

The central bank chief said the meetings will also touch on the structures that are important for financial mobilisation for the country.

Zimbabwe’s economy has regressed in the last two years — reversing most of the gains made during the inclusive government era.

As part of trying to improve the ease of doing business, government has been instituting sweeping reforms while pushing its re-engagement agenda which includes normalising relations with Bretton Woods institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) who are pleased with Zimbabwe’s arrear-clearance strategy.

Zimbabwe needs to pay $1,8 billion to access low interest loans from the IMF, African Development Bank and the World Bank.

Mangudya said it was wrong to suggest that Chinamasa must not engage with the IMF on arrear clearances, arguing that was the only way Zimbabwe would be cleared for access to capital.

“We want to make sure that we mobilise financial resources for Zimbabwe and we are quite confident of what we are trying to do,” he said.

“Zimbabwe is blacklisted because it has not been repaying its loans, so the logical thing is to show that you are willing to pay back and then you get clearance,” Mangudya added.

Zimbabwe is in the throes of a bleeding economy which has spawned cash shortages and high unemployment.

To deal with the crisis, the RBZ will be bringing bond notes in October as it seeks to stabilise the jittery market but the suspicious public perceives the move as a way of bringing the reviled Zimbabwe dollar via the backdoor.

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