THE Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA)’s one-stop-shop investment centre (OSSIC) is now active, a move that will improve the speed at which investments are handled.
The one-stop-shop was set up in 2010, but has been missing set deadlines over the years. It is expected to bring increased efficiency on investors’ application, processing and communication with other government departments.
The delays in the investments approval process has been identified as part of a litany of reasons why the country was failing to attract significant foreign direct investment, which totalled only US$500 million last year.Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Macro-Economic Planning and Investment Promotion, Desire Sibanda, said: “The one stop shop investment centre has been operationalised this August 2016.”
OSSIC brings under one roof a number of key institutions that include the Deeds Office, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, the Ministry of Mines, power utility ZESA, Environmental Management Authority, local government and the immigration department to expedite the processes required for an investor to set up shop in Zimbabwe.
ZIA is currently seized with improving the ease-of-doing-business environment in the country, which is among those countries with poor investment policies and in which investors have significant difficulties doing business.
The country has been ranked poorly on the World Bank’s Doing Business Index, but has worked hard to slightly improve its rating to court investment.
The latest World Bank’s 2015 report ranks Zimbabwe at 155 out of 189 countries from the previous ranking of 171.
Neighbouring countries such as Zambia, South Africa, and Mozambique are ranked 97, 73 and 133 respectively while Botswana is at number 72.