Zimbabwe is strategically located at the heart of Southern Africa, making it land-linked through the North-South Corridor connecting Southern African countries. The country shares borders with Mozambique to the east, Zambia to the north, Botswana and Namibia to the west, and South Africa to the south. Zimbabwe is characterized by a well-developed road and rail network which provides easy access to the seaports of Maputo, Beira, Walvis Bay, and Durban. Furthermore, Zimbabwe has a dry seaport facility at Walvis Bay in Namibia, capable of handling bulk and other containerized cargo. The country is one of the emerging economies in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) region with high agricultural prospects of becoming the region’s breadbasket, and a hub for value-added exploitation of mineral and agricultural commodities. The country enjoys preferential market access to the regional (SADC, COMESA) and international community (ACP-EU) markets through bilateral and multilateral arrangements. Investing in Zimbabwe, as a centrally located country, therefore provides a regional gateway to SADC/COMESA and other markets.
Zimbabwe boasts of a highly advanced human capital skills base which also offers opportunities for the development of digital and knowledge-based industries, anchored on a well-developed private and public information communication technology (ICT) infrastructure network. The current population is estimated at +/-16 million. GDP per capita is US$1573 (ZimStats, 2019). The country enjoys peace and political stability that is underpinned by a well-established democratic system, consistent with globally accepted international governance standards. In February 2020, Zimbabwe launched the Zimbabwe Development Agency (ZIDA) that will house a One-Stop Investment Service Centre for investment promotion and facilitation. This is a huge achievement that has streamlined the administration of investment and significantly reduced the turn-around time required to set-up investments in the country. In addition, the country has demarcated Special Economic Zones (SEZ) that have additional incentives apart from the general incentives. The incentives under SEZ are as follows:
- Zero-rated Corporate Income Tax for the first 5 years of operation, with a corporate tax rate of 15% applying thereafter;
- Special Initial Allowance of 50% of the cost from year one, and 25% in the subsequent two years;
- Exemption from Non-residents tax on fees for services that are not locally available;
- An exemption from Non-residents tax on royalties;
- Inputs which include raw materials, and imported for use by companies set up in the Special Economic Zones, are imported duty-free.
- The duty exemption will, however, not apply where such raw materials are also produced and available in Zimbabwe; and
- Zero-rated Capital Gains Tax.
Investment Opportunities do exist in but not limited to:
The country has more than 60 international tradeable resources and has the world's second-largest platinum deposits. Gold, platinum, chromite, coal, nickel, diamonds, iron ore, copper and coal bed methane are some of the top nine minerals in the country. Investors are welcome to venture into mining value chains which include the provision of finance and technical services, exploration, extraction, logistics, beneficiation, and value addition.
The manufacturing sector in Zimbabwe is well diversified and possesses strong linkages with other productive sectors of the economy. Opportunities exist for new investment, joint ventures, or strategic partnerships in textiles, agro-processing, vehicle assembling, and component manufacturing and chemicals.
Agriculture represents the backbone of Zimbabwe’s economy providing raw materials to other sectors through vertical and horizontal linkages. There are extensive opportunities in the production of vegetables, flowers, fruits, livestock, dairy, tobacco, soya beans for export markets. Timber, tobacco, cotton, and sugarcane are valuable crops that investors can value add.
Zimbabwe has vast tourist attractions ranging from natural to man-made historical sites. Some of the attraction sites are Victoria Falls, Lake Kariba, the Great Zimbabwe National Monument, Scenic Beauty Eastern Highlands, Matopo Hills, and the Wildlife in the country’s national parks. Opportunities for investment in the tourism sector include:
- Hotel and Catering Industry
- Safari and Tour operations
- Construction of international convention centers
- Production of animal documentaries etc
Good and reliable infrastructure is a pre-requisite for economic growth and development. Infrastructure enables other sectors of the economy to function smoothly. In Zimbabwe there are opportunities for expanding and modernizing the existing infrastructure and constructing new infrastructures such as modern highways and associated tollgates linking major cities, power generation, dam construction, water reticulation, budget hotel chains in tourism among others. Investors are welcome in the sector on a number of projects through PPP, BOT, and BOOT arrangements.