Sunday, April 22, 2018

SB Moyo rallies nation, Diaspora

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THE responsibility to turnaround Zimbabwe’s economic fortunes is vested in all Zimbabweans, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo has said.
Addressing Zimbabweans resident here at an interactive luncheon that lasted close to four hours at a packed Zimbabwe House yesterday, Dr Moyo said Government’s role was to provide an enabling environment for business.
“It is not the responsibility of the current administration (alone) to rebuild the nation, it is the responsibility of all Zimbabweans,” Dr Moyo said as he invited Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to invest in Zimbabwe.
He thanked Diasporans for the remittances that had kept the country afloat since the turn of the millennium, as he urged them to continue being good ambassadors of the nation saying what they post on social media went a long way in shaping investor perceptions.
“All I can say is that there is a new dispensation now in Zimbabwe. We are more worried about the future and we have said, and His Excellency the President said on the day of his inauguration, that let bygones be bygones. We do not want to be prisoners of our past but let us look at the future of the country, and the future of the country is nothing else but the economic interests of the nation,” he added.
Government, Dr Moyo said, had embarked on an international re-engagement initiative “so that we can change the narrative about our country, and the narrative which is very crucial is the economic narrative”.
Since late 2017, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s new dispensation has improved the ease of doing business and amended several laws that were inimical to investor confidence, chief among them the indigenisation threshold requiring investors to cede 51 percent ownership to indigenes.
Said Dr Moyo: “So economic and political refocus in Zimbabwe is really translating it into a destination for investment.
“As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs — particularly International Trade — our responsibility is to manage the external environment. And as we manage the external environment, we must project the foreign policy of Zimbabwe but the foreign policy of any nation is an extension of the country’s domestic policy.
“So it was critical that we had to naturally ensure that a number of reforms which were needed be undertaken in order to attract FDI into the country. So all we are saying all are welcome to protracted economic activities in our country.
“And we are saying we are now a nation of policy consistency. We are now a nation that respects the bilateral investment protection agreements, we are saying we are now a nation that embraces particularly its people to come back to Zimbabwe, not just to be employees but to come and invest in Zimbabwe.”
Dr Moyo — who was flanked by Ambassador-designate to the UK Christian Katsande and Finance and Economic Development Deputy Minister Terrence Mukupe — said the ease of doing business thrust could not be divorced from ensuring Diasporans had the ease of being Zimbabwean, as he pledged Government’s commitment to address their concerns.
Zimbabweans in the UK sponsored the luncheon.