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Zim business climate most unfavourable’

Tendai Mukandi

ZIMBABWE’S domestic business climate remains the most unfavourable both in the region and beyond, an Institute of Development Studies (IDS) report h

as revealed.

The report, prepared to investigate business and other stakeholders’ perceptions on the country’s regional integration, was prepared by Benson Zwizwai, deputy director of the IDS at the University of Zimbabwe.

“The Zimbabwean business climate was rated second to last…. Not a single response rated the domestic business climate as very favourable,” the report said.

Zimbabwe is currently experiencing its worst economic crisis since Independence from Britain in 1980.

Hundreds of companies have closed shop due to acute foreign currency and fuel shortages, leaving thousands of people jobless.

Unemployment is estimated at over 80% by independent economists, but the government is adamant the independent forecasts are exaggerated and puts unemployment figures at 9%.

A host of problems, including inflation currently at over 1 000% and dwindling agricultural production, have added to the woes afflicting the economy, forcing some companies to relocate to stable economies like South Africa, Botswana and Zambia.

The report said southern neighbour South Africa had the most favourable business climate.

Asia, with which President Robert Mugabe’s government has decided to develop economic ties to spite the West which has imposed targeted sanctions against him and members of his regime, was noted as the second major competitor after South Africa.

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