News Details

SAGCC Members given insight into current events in Zimbabwe at exclusive Information Event

20.02.18 AHK Süd-Afrika - News-Hauptkategorie

Johannesburg, 13 February 2018 – With all the changes happening in Zimbabwe of late, the Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry brought a large group of its members together for an overview of changing policies in Zimbabwe and how these policies are affecting local business and foreign investment. Given the change in investors’ attitudes toward the country, this event drew a great number of company representatives, who are curious about how to approach doing business in a changing Zim.

The speakers at this event were the German ambassador to Zimbabwe, Dr Thorsten Hutter, representatives from the Consulate of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Mr Energy Chawoneka and Mr Linos Mapfumo, the CEO of Schweppes Zimbabwe Ltd, Charles Msipa, and the Chamber’s honorary representative in Zimbabwe, Mr Bernd Doppelfeld.

The presentations were mainly concerned with how the international business community would react to recent changes in Zimbabwe. What Dr Hutter and Messrs Chawoneka and Mapfumo asserted was that the international business community has similar concerns as the locals, mainly economic reform and free, fair, credible elections. There would be more security of planning for companies, if the new president can claim a legitimate term. To that end, there is a call for external observation.

The country’s arrears are the clearest obstacle to receiving foreign donations as the international community won’t offer further financial support, if these arrears persist. Dr Hutter suggested that the new government must first address the wasteful spending on civil servants, agriculture, etc., The IMF has commented that the country must reduce its budget deficit in order to become more appealing to donors.

Another issue that is giving donors and investors pause, is the matter of the country’s Indigenisation Laws. Mr Chawoneka assured those present that although these policies are intended to prioritise local business, they do not stand in the way of joint ventures with foreign companies.

Indeed, Zimbabwe is looking to re-engage with countries in the EU. The United Kingdom has already sent emissaries to Harare. Meanwhile, US companies are keen to test the waters, but are waiting for the results of the local elections before making a move.

Nevertheless, the general feeling about Zimbabwe is a positive one. Dr Hutter stated, “What Zimbabwe has now is better; there is a clear will to change for the better.”

Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The Southern African-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry has been operating in Southern Africa for over 65 years. Bringing together potential business partners is one of our key service offerings. We foster business links between Germany and Southern African companies through comprehensive and target group oriented researches, workshops, seminars and business delegations that bring you in contact with competent business partners in your industry. Contact the Chamber to get connected with German and southern African businesses at info(at); or call +27 11 486 2775.