ZIDA effectively creates a One-Stop Investment Service Centre for investors, raising hope that those with capital will soon find it much easier to bring it for investment in Zimbabwe.
It will cut the process of having potential investors move from one office to another in search of the right papers to start their business.
Zida repealed the Zimbabwe Investment Authority Act, the Special Economic Zones Act and the Joint Ventures Act, all which were dealing with investors separately.
These institutions often carried their work at variance with each other, pronouncing contradictory policies, rules and regulations that ended up annoying some investors.
It is envisaged under Zida that within a day, the investor will be able to register a company, obtain a tax certificate number, an environmental impact assessment certificate, a NSSA number and many other necessary documents.
The agency is expected to carry out deliberate efforts through various means to promote, plan and implement investment promotion strategies for the purpose of encouraging investment by both domestic and foreign investors.
Zida is mandated with delivering investor aftercare services, including, but not limited to post-establishment facilitation services that support investment retention and expansion.
The agency will have to maintain records related to investment certificates, work permits, visas and any other documents pertaining to the licensed investor.
It is expected that Zida will accord foreign investors and their investments the same treatment with local investors under the same circumstances, with respect to the establishment, acquisition, expansion, management, conduct, operation and sale or other disposition of their investments.
Before Zida, there were too many organisations dealing with investors to such an extent that the offering of incentives was not properly coordinated.
Zida will also take care of the Special Economic Zones, being empowered to declare any area or premises as a Special Economic Zone.
When dealing with an application for an investment licence in the Special Economic Zone, the investment agency will consider the degree of export orientation or import substitution of the project and the extent to which the proposed investment will promote industrialisation of the domestic economy.
Zida will also consider the extent to which skills and technology will be transferred for the benefit of Zimbabwe and its people.
Another important mandate for Zida is the issuance of operating licences to investors, while handling public-private partnerships.
It is envisaged that Zida will eventually decentralise its operations to provinces to help attract investment for local communities in line with the devolution policy. — Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency.