US trade mission targets manufacturing, energy investments on rare Zimbabwe visit

US trade mission targets manufacturing, energy investments on rare Zimbabwe visit

By Bernard Mpofu, HARARE, May 26 (The Source) – A trade mission from the United States will visit Zimbabwe in June to scout for investment opportunities, in a sign the southern African state’s bilateral relations with the world’s largest economy could be improving.

Zimbabwe Investment Authority’s head of operations Sichoni Takoleza told The Source on the sidelines of the just ended Imara Investment conference that the Corporate Council on Africa, led by its president and chief executive, Stephen Hayes, would visit the region as the country intensifies its drive to attract foreign direct investment.

“The Corporate Council on Africa will be here early next month to scout for investment opportunities in Zimbabwe,” Takoleza said.

CCA is a nonprofit, membership-based organization established in 1993 to promote business and investment between the United States and African countries. CCA is the premier American organization devoted to US-Africa business relations and includes as members more than 180 companies.

CCA membership includes global brands like Microsoft, Shell Oil Company, ExxonMobile Company, The Coca Cola Company and the Boeing Company.

Hayes confirmed the visit on the CCA website.

“Join this delegation of business executives to explore opportunities in agribusiness, energy, manufacturing and technology. The delegation will learn from successful businesses on the ground and will have exclusive meetings with government officials and potential local business partners,” said Hayes.

“The excitement surrounding the burgeoning economies in Zambia and Zimbabwe makes this mission perfect both for firms seeking early entry into developing industries, and those looking to deepen their ties in these two strategic markets in Southern Africa.”

Zimbabwe has lagged regional peers in attracting FDI due to poor rankings on the ease of doing business and structural issues besetting the economy.

Official figures show that FDIs have been sagging with neighboring Zambia receiving $8 billion in FDI between 1980 and 2013, Mozambique ($16 billion) and Zimbabwe $1,8 billion.