Corruption, policy inconsistency scares away Swedish investors

Corruption and policy inconsistency is scaring away Swedish investors from the country, a recent report by the Parliament of Zimbabwe has revealed.

Zimbabwe, which has suffered two decades of international isolation is in desperate need of foreign direct investment (FDI) from all the corners of the world to revive its shattered economy.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government has thus since last year been re-engaging the international community under the mantra: “Zimbabwe is open for business.”

Presenting a report on the Parliament of Zimbabwe’s recent re-engagement visit to Sweden in the august House this Tuesday, Kindness Paradza, chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, said they were told that Swedish business people were not willing to invest in countries with high corruption levels and policy inconsistencies.

The delegation, which was led by National Assembly Speaker, Jacob Mudenda, met with the president of the Swedish Southern Africa Chamber of Commerce (SSACC) during the visit.

SSACC is an independent, non-profit making organisation that promotes trade and investment between Sweden and Sub-Saharan Africa.

“The President of the SSACC has a keen interest in Zimbabwe and as such is willing to market Zimbabwe to her membership as part of re-engagement through business interface,” said Paradza.

“However, she emphasised that Swedish businesses are averse to risk and corruption preferring to invest in countries where there is policy consistency and the legislative framework governing various sectors of the economy. The Zimbabwe delegation informed the chamber president that the Indigenisation Act has been repealed and the investments will now be driven under the ZIDA (Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency) Act. It will address the ease of doing business in Zimbabwe.”

Paradza added: The delegation assured the Swedish chamber that foreign investors would be able to repatriate their profits back to their country. The chamber president welcomed the developments with regards to the progress on the ZIDA bill. In this regard, she proposed convening a dialogue where representatives from the Zimbabwe business community would interface with her chamber members. In this regard, the Swedish Southern Africa Chamber of Commerce is willing to facilitate this engagement.”

The Zimbabwean Embassy in Stockholm, Paradza said, now needs to continuously engage SSACC with the view of jointly convening the proposed business Conference.

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