The Sunday News
Judith Phiri and Rutendo Nyeve, Business Reporters
THE designation of the Victoria Falls Special Economic Zone as an International Financial Services Centre will help attract top firms to invest in various sectors of the economy.
The designation of Victoria Falls as an International Financial Services Centre was made last Friday through Statutory Instrument (SI) 4 of 2022 cited as Banking (Declaration of the Victoria Falls Special Economic Zone as an International Financial Services Centre) by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Professor Mthuli Ncube.
An International Financial Services Centre caters for customers outside the jurisdiction of the domestic economy. Such centres deal with flows of finance, financial products and services across borders.
The move will see the resort city joining other global cities like London and New York that are counted as global financial centres. Many emerging international financial services centres around the world, such as Shanghai in China and Dubai are aspiring to play a global role in the years to come.
In an interview, Zanu-PF Secretary for Information and Publicity, Ambassador Christopher Mutsvangwa praised President Mnangagwa and the Second Republic for gazetting the SI noting that this was a big shot in the arm for the resort city.
He said the announcement was an open invitation to local, regional and global businesses to come and list on the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX) without being burdened by restrictive foreign exchange rebukes and difficult tax burdens.
“Already gold is being traded on VFEX as pioneered by Delaggio’s Eureka and Caledonia of Zimbabwe. There is a paradigm shift from the internal combustion engine, its dirty and polluting fossils fuels. The New Electric Vehicles beckon with electricity storage batteries. VFEX and its vehicles can seize the opportunity to become a fundraising locus of the beckoning green energy,” he said.
Ambassador Mutsvangwa said the hard currency earning assets of the bountiful mineral resources of Zimbabwe and that of the fellow Sadc countries and the whole of Africa could be opened up to adequate funding.
He said the SI came at the best time and Victoria Falls Special Economic Zone had its work cut out.
“Zimbabwe and its well-educated population can offer an organised, disciplined and hardworking labour force ready to acquire requisite skills. Married to capital, technology and management, they can produce world class goods and services for the discerning global market,” he added.
Ambassador Mutsvangwa said the development provided potential for a lot of projects to be ventured into, in all the different sectors of the economy, whetting appetites of global investors.
He said President Mnangagwa has been on a decade long pursuit of turning Zimbabwe into a global steel metallurgical powerhouse.
“The close proximity of rich deposits of iron ore, ferrochrome, thermal coal and coking coal offer synergies for the most competitive and lowest cost production of steel.
“Tsingshan Group Holdings, the global steel behemoth is responding aggressively to the mantra ‘Zimbabwe Is Open for Business’ of President Mnangagwa and his Second Republic,” he added.
Last year President Mnangagwa launched the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX), the country’s second stock exchange that exclusively trades in US dollars.
VFEX was established in October 2020 as a subsidiary of the Harare-based Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE).
It is aimed at providing a global platform for the trading of stocks in foreign currency in a way that promotes foreign investment into the country and the southern African region.
The exchange is also one of the many initiatives being implemented by the Zimbabwean Government to stabilise the economy and attract foreign direct investment.