GOVT TO NORMALISE RELATIONS WITH GLOBAL PARTNERS
Government is in the process of reviewing current legislation and the processes around doing business in the country as it seeks to create mutually respectful relations with international trading partners, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Rtd Lt-General Sibusiso Moyo has said.
Minister Moyo said Government is intent on opening a new page for the country’s diplomacy by normalising relations with those countries we differed with in the past.
Said Minister Moyo: “We want to focus on achievements and correct past mistakes and this includes clearing of arrears with multilateral lenders.”
The new policy is heavily biased on economic statecraft particularly the need to attract foreign direct investment given that the country has missed out on investments targeting emerging economies in the past two decades, Minister Moyo said in our sister publication The Business Weekly.
“For different reasons, for almost two decades, some countries have maintained economic impediments such as trade restrictions, financial sanctions, investment restrictions and monetary sanctions.
Our task now is to convince progressive sections of the international community that our country is experiencing a new dawn that should propel it forward. We are moving on and we don’t want to be tied down by the past,” Minister Moyo said.
“We acknowledge the country’s external debt to international financial institutions such as the IMF, WB, Paris Club and the European Investment Bank and the AfDB. Some of these institutions have expressed a desire to dialogue with on how to ameliorate our circumstances.
I should say so far there is goodwill to dialogue. After re-establishing working relations and credit worthiness with these important international institutions, we expect to attract FDI that stimulates the economy.
“The steps should also address the country’s key economic challenges which include liquidity,” Minister Moyo said.
“As enunciated so eloquently by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, the Government will promote and protect democratization and the rule of law will be a linchpin on which to build the confidence our society desires in the new government.
“Our thrust as a country is on the well-being of our people and the improvement of their livelihoods. Our new foreign policy thrust can only be successful through the diversification of domestic economy and value addition.
“We need both technology and capital investments from our trading partners in order to achieve these milestones in the possible time-frame,” the minister said.
The Minister said each economic sector has low hanging fruits which can be attained within the 100-day period. These fruits are in the tourism, mining, agriculture sectors and to an extent the manufacturing sector.
“However the quickest pick is in the creation of an environment which is conducive to investors. We will focus on facilitating a global competitive enabling environment for trade and foreign investment.
“This entails the reviewing of current legislation and the processes around doing business in the country which is already underway. There are other challenges such as the liquidity crunch and this can be solved by accessing new lines of credit and cutting down central government expenditure. This would redirect finances to the capital expenditure,” the minister added.
Minister Moyo said Government will revisit all our policies and seek to correct some of the mistakes that occurred during the implementation of these policies particularly with regard to the land reform and Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (BIPPAs).
“Although the land reform programme is irreversible, our government will put in place measures to correct some of the mistakes associated with its implementation. The issue of BIPPAs will be reviewed as we carry out an audit on the land reform programme,” Minister Moyo said.
He also said Zimbabwe will prioritise value addition to its natural resources as a way of growing and diversifying the economy.