Seza hunts for CEO

HARARE - The Special Economic Zones Authority (Seza) has begun hunting for a new chief executive officer who will spearhead the country’s quest for increased foreign direct investment through Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

SEZs allow investors to operate under special conditions that are different from the rest of the economy and give investors more privileges.

Seza chairperson Gideon Gono said the authority was inviting suitable candidates from across the world to apply “for this prestigious and inaugural position”.

“This chief executive role requires a highly-experienced entrepreneurial leader who will work with SEZs to create a highly sustainable and balanced growth-oriented special economic zones model in Zimbabwe,” he said.

The incumbent is expected to be responsible for all day-to-day operations of the authority and to ensure compliances with applicable laws and regulations as well as policies and regulations set forth by the board.

Gono, who was in June appointed to head the Seza board, said the chief executive will also be responsible for creating an environment that enables effective partnership with government agencies, private industry players, Diasporans and zone investors to create new businesses, products, services in  the specialised areas.

The chief executive will be mandated to build new financing strategies and help in implementation incentives policies to enable SEZs deliver on foreign currency earnings, world-class infrastructure building, employment creation and balanced national growth.

“The chief executive is required to have a strong comprehension of the interconnected influences that, labour, environment, science, politics, economics, industry, media and social change dynamics play in SEZs issues which are all collectively needed to gain a highly developed political and business strategic awareness,” he added.

Market experts said the incoming chief executive already has his job cut out for him and should come with strategies to attract new foreign capital and compete with neighbouring countries such as Mozambique and South Africa that are in the process of setting up SEZs and have over the years beaten Zimbabwe in attracting foreign direct investment.

Zimbabwe’s foreign direct investment has been steadily declining from an all-time high of $545 million in 2014 to $319 million last year, according to the World Investment Report.

Gono said with the SEZ Authority setting up the development zones from scratch across the country either as privately-owned, private-public partnership or government-owned, it was imperative the successful candidate has extensive experience doing this previously.

“The learning curve must be as short as possible,” he said.

Among other qualifications, the new chief executive should have at least 10 years industry experience within special economic zones and preferably with experience within South East Asia or Africa.

The idea of SEZs was mooted in 1959 in Ireland with the intention to promote investment in deprived areas with incentives that might be unaffordable, unpopular or unnecessary if applied nationally.

With over 4 300 SEZs globally, China has successfully perfected the concept as the Asian giant’s incredible economic growth is attributed to special economic zones which were introduced in the early 1980s when the country opened itself to the rest of the world and cemented its place on the global stage as a major economic player.

Comments (1)

A noble cause in futility already the chair is known zanupf apologist who failed dismally as a central bank governor.

Sinyo - 14 August 2017

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