Zimbabwe launches one stop shop investment centre

In a bid to improve the flow of domestic and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), Zimbabwe has launched a one stop shop (OSS) investment centre.

According to Tapiwa Mashakada, Minister of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion, one of his key initiatives is to reform the business environment in the country to remove any investment impediments and to streamline investment approval processes.

The Zimbabwean government aims to create and maintain a stable macro-economic environment to attract meaningful investment, both domestic and foreign.

"Increasing the level of investment is crucial for Zimbabwe's economic turn-around and development. It is therefore important that we attract foreign direct investment to augment our domestic resources," he says.

He also adds that FDI also brings with it additional benefits in the form of technological advancement and employment creation.

The shop is a means to facilitate investment, streamline and simplify business set-up processes such as company registration, granting of immigration permits, taxation and customs clearance issues, access to factory space, access to utilities such as water, electricity and telecommunication facilities and any other requirements of investors, so as to cut on the time and costs associated with doing business.

Before the establishment of the OSS, approvals required by investors such as company registration/incorporation, investment licensing, residents/work permits, business operating licenses, exchange control authorities, mining title registration, tour operators permits, etc, were processed in different authorised government agencies.

This led to delays in processing the necessary approvals and thus ended up being a barrier to investment as it stifled the smooth start-up of foreign businesses in the country. According to Mashakada the delays could take up to 96 days and through the OSS there are plans to reduce this to five days.

Wallace Mawire

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