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McDonalds plans Zim foray
22/08/2010 00:00:00
by Business Reporter
 
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THE World’s biggest fast-food chain, McDonalds, has reportedly targeted Zimbabwe as a new market for its outlets as the country continues to recover from the economic chaos experienced over the last decade.

McDonalds tried to get into the country in 1999 but was put off by the simmering political and economic instability.

Over the last several years some international companies pulled out of Zimbabwe, frustrated by the inclement operating environment which was characterised by hyperinflation and chronic foreign currency shortages.

The foreign currency crunch meant companies could not take out their profits.

However the establishment of a coalition government between President Robert Mugabe and his political rivals helped ease tensions while positive policy interventions such as ditching the Zimbabwe dollar have put the economy on a recovery path.

And, attracted by the turnaround, McDonalds is reportedly now ready to move into the country, according to a South African marketing website which quoted the company’s international franchising agency.

McDonalds did not deny the report.

Observers see the company’s plans to move into Zimbabwe as a sign of confidence in its economic prospects.

The African continent represents a new frontier for McDonalds which reportedly serves up to 47 million customers across the world but has faced criticism over the healthiness of its products.

The company presently operates in just a handful of African countries led by South Africa, where it has 132 restaurants.



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