Zimbabwe: Mashakada decries ’infruitful’ Bippas

The Herald | 19 March 2012

Zimbabwe: Mashakada Decries ’Unfruitful’ Bippas

By Tawanda Musarurwa

Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Minister Tapiwa Mashakada has decried the lack of positive outcomes from the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements Zimbabwe has signed with a number of countries.

Citing the example of the BIPPA with Botswana, Minister Mashakada said the country was yet to benefit in terms of new capital investment.

He was speaking at a Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce forum last week.

"We were rushed by our Botswana counterparts into ratifying that BIPPA. However, to date nothing has come out of it yet," he said.

Ratification of the agreement was expected to result in local business accessing over US$70 million in lines of credit from that country.

The minister also said although the Zimbabwe Investment Authority approved US$6,6 billion worth of new investment projects last year, some of these potential investors were doing so on a speculative basis.

Others, however, were genuinely concerned about the country’s high risk rating.

He noted that despite the improvements in respect of its business environment, Zimbabwe was losing significant foreign direct investment to countries in the region.

For instance, according to the Unctad World Investment Report 2011, Zimbabwe recorded FDI of US$105 million in 2010, compared to the US$9 billion which went to Angola during the same period.

Meanwhile, the country has another chance to engage international investors as the Euromoney Investment Conference (Zimbabwe), which began last year, rolls back into town and is set for Harare on Wednesday and Thursday this week.

The conference is fast becoming a premier event in setting the tone for attracting foreign direct investment in the country.

Minister Mashakada told the Herald Business that the conference would again attract key international investors.

source: The Herald