The new Zimbabwean government, set to emerge after the decisive elections slated for end of month, must create an enabling business environment to attract South Korean investment, South Korea Ambassador to Zimbabwe Lew Kwang –Chul said.
In an interview with businessdigest, Kwang-Chul said the country needs clear cut policies and transparency in government to become competitive and attract foreign direct investment.
He said a stable political situation, with clear policies, will revitalise and re – energise investors, including South Koreans, to come in Zimbabwe thereby increasing trade and supporting economic growth.
“South Korean companies currently have more interest in investing in Mozambique than Zimbabwe due to favourable economic and political environment though they recognize the great investment potential that Zimbabwe has,” Kwang-Chul said.
South Korea recently opened an embassy in Mozambique capital of Maputo which Zimbabwe need to utilize by tapping goods and services from the Asian country via the Mozambican coast.
South Korea and Mozambique have US$100 million bilateral trade agreement with the latest investment being the development of gas in the Indian Ocean, coal mining in Tete, infrastructure projects like modernising the railway system, new port, power stations and road construction.
Kwang –Chul took a swipe at the indigenisation and empowerment law which he described as “retrogressive,” adding the piece of legislation should either be repealed or amended to give clarity to investors.
“The designers of the law are not clear on how the 51% share will be distributed to the local people. The general local people are not capable to buy 51%. If any investor invest US$100 million , US$51 million goes to the hands of local people. There is no specific picture on these various specific matters.If investors do not get a clear picture, I don’t think any investor will come into this country,” he said.
“The issue of tax legislation, remittance of business money, goods conditions from the banking sector need also to be rectified to increase the levels of investment and advancement of foreign companies in the country.”
Trade between Zimbabwe and South Korea is valued at US$10 million with exports to Zimbabwe standing at US$3 million and imports at US$7 million.
Korea import , non-ferrous minerals exporting medicine and chemical products and foresees agricultural such as cotton, tobacco, sugarcane mining and infrastructure as future lucrative investments sectors.