The visit by the delegation follows a resolution taken in September during the Association of Sadc, Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ASCCI) annual general meeting (AGM) in Namibia.
It was resolved that all member chambers should engage with their governments to lobby for investment support for Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) president Obert Sibanda told businessdigest in Bulawayo that the Namibian business delegation is the first of the regional chambers to take the initiative after the AGM.
“We are expecting the delegation next week and they are on a fact-finding mission to explore business opportunities in the country. The visit is a direct result of the resolutions taken in Namibia by all Sadc chamber associations” Sibanda said.
Sibanda, who was elected vice president of ASCCI, said members of the delegation attended the recent mining investor conference in Harare.
“The delegation comprises businesspeople from various sectors of the economy and some of them were at the mining investor conference in Harare recently. They would also visit Bulawayo on Wednesday for talks with the local business community” said Sibanda.
Zimbabwe is desperately seeking foreign investment. In mid-September, President Mugabe told foreign investors at a mining-industry meeting in Harare that the country respected property rights and the rule of law.
Any delay in investment could have a negative effect on the economy and on the country’s shaky power-sharing government.
Zimbabwe is only now pulling itself out of a 10-year economic decline characterised by 80% unemployment and high inflation.
Several foreign business delegations have in the recent past visited Zimbabwe to explore business opportunities only to say the country has “vast potential”.
Recently, a German delegation said it was impressed by the country’s business potential but raised concern over property rights and the rule of law.
A German embassy statement said the business delegation expressed concern about new threats to owners of farms.
“There are questions that remain open. These questions relate to law and order,” the statement quoted delegation leader, Andreas Wenzel, as having said. “It is an absolute necessity for any investor that property rights are guaranteed.”
In May, Botswana business delegation under the leadership of Botswana Confederation of Commerce, Industry and Manpower (BOCCIM) embarked on a similar mission and concluded that “generally, the economy is weak. Although the main infrastructure is still in place, there is an urgent need for refurbishment and maintenance…
“Overall, opportunities in Zimbabwe are abound and these cut across all sectors of the economy. From the one-on-one meetings that were held between the Botswana delegation and the Zimbabwe business community, sectors identified as having immediate potential are agriculture, mining, ICT, tourism, manufacturing, commerce, construction and professional services,” read the statement.