Zimbabwe economic policy scares off Australia
From MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) – AUSTRALIA has pledged its interest to invest in Zimbabwe but wants the Southern African country to address the issue of controversial legislation that have scared away investors over the years.
The lack of investment in the economically-troubled country has largely been blamed on the contentious demands by the regime of President Robert Mugabe, such as the indigenization policies compelling foreign firms to cede at least 51 percent of their stakes to locals.
Zimbabwe says this is for purposes of empowering communities previously disadvantaged by colonialism by Britain until 1980.
Australian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Suzanne McCourt, said investors from her country and local businesses sought a stable and transparent business environment, underpinned by clear and consistent policies, in order to invest in Zimbabwe.
“Certainty for business and building business confidence are critical to unlocking Zimbabwe’s great potential and spurring continued economic growth,” said McCourt.
McCourt spoke in the capital Harare on Wednesday where she hosted visiting Australian Trade Commissioner for Southern Africa, Patrick Hanlon.
The visit is an opportunity to strengthen links between Australia and Zimbabwe.
Relations between the two countries have soured since the turn of the millennium after Zimbabwe’s violent campaign to take over land from mainly white farmers.
Australis has also accused the regime of Mugabe and his ZANU (PF) party of electoral fraud and human rights abuses.
– CAJ News
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