Home » Government » NO NEW LICENCES FOR FOREIGNERS IN RESTRICTED SECTORS OF ZIMBABWEAN ECONOMY

HARARE, April 16 — The Zimbabwe government will not allow any new foreigners to establish businesses in economic sectors reserved for locals under the country’s Indigenization Act, says the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenization and Economic Empowerment, Francis Nhema.

Reserved sectors include agriculture (primary production of food and cash crops), transportation, retail and wholesale trade, barbershops, hairdressing and beauty salons. Others are employment and estate agencies, grain milling as well as bakeries, tobacco grading and packaging, tobacco processing, advertising agencies, milk processing and provision of local arts and crafts, marketing and distribution.

Zimbabwe enacted the indigenization legislation in 2010 to compel foreign firms to sell 51 per cent shareholding to local investors.

The minister said here Tuesday that the decision to leave certain sectors for locals was meant to increase participation of Zimbabweans in the mainstream economy.

“We have said, and we maintain that there are no foreigners who will be given permits to open new businesses in the reserved sectors,” he said. “Those who are already there we have given them a certain amount of time for them to look for local partners.”

Nhema said the Indigenization law was not meant to victimize anyone, including foreigners. “Indigenization does not mean we have those that we hate that we just want to chase away. No. Indigenization is improving those who were disadvantaged before 1980 and we are saying it is also their time to have a better life,” he said.

The government had initially set Jan 1 this year as the deadline for foreigners in reserved sectors to relinquish their majority shareholding but decided against implementing the decision.

The earlier decision was met with mixed reactions particularly at a time when the government is trying to court direct investment from abroad to help shore up the slowing economy.

SOURCE: NEW ZIANA

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