Ease of doing business reforms deadline set

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    Harare – The government has set April as the deadline for the completion of the 2019 Ease of Doing Business in Zimbabwe Reforms Project.

    The project is aimed at ensuring that investment promotion and economic development targets set in the Transitional Stabilisation Programme are achieved by focusing on a favourable climate for companies to operate in line with Vision 2030 for an upper middle- income economy.

    The Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Ray Ndhlukula said technical teams are already working on proposals to ensure removal of challenges in setting up companies with deadline for finalisation of the project being on April 29 this year.

    Economies are ranked on their ease of doing business, from 1–190. A high ease of doing business ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm. The rankings are determined by sorting the aggregate scores on 10 topics, each consisting of several indicators, giving equal weight to each topic.

    Interestingly, when evaluating potential investment zones, foreign investors largely rely on the ease of doing business country ratings.

    Zimbabwe is ranked 159 out of 190, according to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2018 index, signifying an unfavourable interaction between government and entrepreneurs.

    Within the 10 key areas, Zimbabwe was ranked 180 out of 190 for starting a business, 175 out of 190 for dealing with construction permits, 161 out of 190 for getting electricity, 108 out of 190 for registering property, 105 out of 190 for getting credit, 143 out of 190 for paying taxes, 153 out of 190 for trading across borders, 166 out of 190 for enforcing contracts, 155 out of 190 for resolving insolvency, 89 out of 190 for protecting minority investors and labor market regulation.

    The statistics above presents strong evidence that the country is not yet open for business.

    Analysts agree that lessons can be drawn from Rwanda, a country which is ranked number two, after Mauritius, in the ease of doing business in Africa. Lessons from Rwanda call for the need to implement reforms so that the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) can be implemented to attract investment needed to resuscitate the economy.

    Among other reforms, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) was formed in 2008 after merging eight different institutions. The vision of the RDB was to move GDP per capita from $720 to $1,200, to increase exports, to advocate for policy change, assess the needs and develop the labour market.

    Moreover, opening up a business in Rwanda takes less than six hours at zero cost and this can happen online.

    Equity Axis News

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