In 2016, Australia gained US$51.9 billion in Direct Foreign Investment. Zimbabwe got just $0.3 billion, the International Mining and Resources Conference was told today.
Given that massive capital was required to unlock mineral resources, how can a country like Zimbabwe attract a greater share, Alexander Mhembere, CEO of Zimplats Holdings asked. The question was more relevant because the developed world appears to be attracting a greater share of investment, he added.
Part of the solution lay in Government policies, Mr Mhembere said. While mineral explorers are attracted by a nation’s geology, developers and operators tend to focus on return on investment. This was affected by such things as availability of adequate and competitively affordable infrastructure like transportation, water and electricity, and by the availability of skilled labour such as mining technicians, engineers and managers.
Mr Mhembere also noted that countries like Australia and Canada, which attract high levels of investment, also rate highly in the World Bank’s “ease of doing business” survey.
Nations seeking to attract investment need to develop appropriate policies. Also, a competitive regulatory and operating environment is key to driving mining sector growth and development. This can in turn allow the mining sector to optimally contribute to socio-economic development, he said.
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