Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga flew into Victoria Falls yesterday where he officiated at a $1,2 billion ground-breaking ceremony for Arabian firm, Feonirichi LLC Investment project.

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The project is expected to provide integrated motor racing facilities, a state-of-the-art medical resort, seven-star hotel, world-class conversion centre and a modern shopping mall.

Chiwenga said the investment was a testimony that Zimbabwe is open for business.

“As government, we welcome this investment and as a demonstration of our commitment to the project, we provided the land, 271 hectares in extent to facilitate the development. Over and above being granted the national project status, the investor will also benefit from a range of incentives under the Special Economic Zones regulations, including unrestricted repatriation of profits, liberal taxation and duty rebates on imported goods, services and equipment,” Chiwenga said.

“This is clear evidence that the government is on a correct trajectory for economic recovery. By harnessing all low-hanging fruits to our advantage, of which tourism is one such sector, we can surely leapfrog our national economic development agenda and achieve the President’s vision that Zimbabwe will be a middle income economy by the year 2020.

“As we move with speed to transform our economy, government will put in place sustainable incentives to enable rapid transformation of the tourism economy. The potential investment projects must be designed and modelled in an inclusive manner so as to cater for the different market segments, including the low-income groups, children, the elderly and people with disabilities.”

The government designated three Special Economic Zones in the country − Bulawayo for industrial hubs, Harare for high-tech industries and Victoria Falls anchored on tourism and financial services.

Feonirich Consortium chief executive officer Prince Adebayo B Oni said once all paperwork has been finalised, construction of a medical facility would start in the next few months.

Victoria Falls mayor Sifiso Mpofu said the investment was welcome as hotel occupancy since November had been increasing.

The project is situated along Victoria Falls-Bulawayo Road near the Victoria Falls International Airport.

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