Govt officers wasted time explaining indigenisation law in foreign forums during Mugabe’s era: ZimTrade

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GONE are the days when Zimbabwean executives would spend time in trade forums defending the former regime’s empowerment laws, acting ZimTrade CEO, Allan Majuru, has said.

Majuru said thanks to the new administration, officials now spend time discussing business opportunities when they meet investors in foreign lands.

The Indigenisation Act came into effect some ten years ago when former president Robert Mugabe’s administration gave locals the right to own a bigger stake in foreign owned companies.

But that has since been amended with any person free to invest, operate and own business in Zimbabwe with the Act percentages now applying to diamond and platinum sectors only.

Speaking to journalists recently in Harare, Majuru said recent business and investment trips have brought positive results.  

“One thing we have noted also is that when we went into these meetings you would spend time trying to explain the Indigenisation Act,” said Majuru.

“You have no idea (when we went to these forums) how much time we spent defending our country, but now it’s about business and what investment opportunities are available in the country.”

“So, the good thing is now such things have been cleared; so you don’t spend time discussing them (Indigenisation Act), you go straight into business,” he added.

Commenting on the recent trip to China, Majuru said the Asian market has great opportunities for exporting perishables and this is the time to take advantage of the market.

“This is quite good, which is something very positive, over the past years our export base shrunk because and there is need to grow it by looking at new markets,” said the acting ZimTrade boss.

“If you look at our export statistics as Zimbabwe, we mainly export to South Africa, about 60%, but if you look at China and see how big the market is, it falls under others, so it’s an opportunity that we need to take care off.”

He added, “A group of citrus farmers is currently negotiating with our ministry because the Chinese require many tonnages of that.”

“In a year Zimbabwe can export 75 000 tonnes of citrus fruits and they require 45 000 tonnes of citrus fruits and this is just a province; it’s not China as a whole.

“Fresh fruits these are things in high demand in China.”