London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 28 September 2009 – Foreign investor interest in Zimbabwe “’ particularly in the country’s mining industry “’ has picked up since the formation of the power-sharing government in February this year, but it is not translating into investment on the ground.
“Since February, we’ve seen a significant increase in the level of investment inquiries and project approvals,” said Richard Mbaiwa “’ head of the Zimbabwe Investment Authority, which is the government’s investment promotion agency.
“But of course investment is not something that happens overnight,” he told a Zimbabwe investment conference here. “This interest is exciting, but it is still to be translated into actual investment on the ground,” he added.
Mbaiwa emphasised that mining attracted most investor interest, followed by manufacturing, tourism, services and construction. Investor interest was coming from China, Pakistan, India, Mauritius, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Britain, the United States and Canada, he said.
Zimbabwe Stock Exchange chief executive Emmanuel Munyukwi confirmed that there was investor interest in Zimbabwe, but pointed out that people were mostly just watching the situation.
“There is a lot of interest in mining because the potential there is huge,” he told Reuters. “But for mining, you need technology and you need capital, and we don’t have those things.”
Munyukwi went on to say that it was time for the rest of the world to re-engage with Zimbabwe, pointing to the country’s mineral wealth. He urged Britain and the United States to resume aid to the country.
Niels Kristensen “’ head of Rio Tinto’s diamond unit in Zimbabwe “’ said the country would not see new investment in its mining sector unless uncertainty over a mining law and fiscal policy were resolved. An empowerment law adopted last year compels foreign-owned firms, including mines and banks, to give up at least 51% control to local people.