Growth prospects excite Mutasa

23 July 2010

Zimbabwe Independent
Business Digest

TA Holdings CEO Shingi Mutasa says he is excited about Zimbabwe’s growth prospects but urged government to reduce corporate tax to 10% to attract foreign capital.

Mutasa also called for clarity and predictability in policies as they form the nexus of capital attraction.

He said that although foreign direct investment is needed to revive the fragile economy, the government should be clear on policies that attract investment.
“International investment is needed in the country but it’s a commodity that needs to feel safe wherever it’s invited. Our government and politicians need to send right signals to attract capital,” Mutasa said.

Mutasa, who says he is a “proud capitalist” said indigenisation laws in other countries are attracting considerable investment as “capital follows the scent of profit”.

“Columbia is the drug capital of the world but it is managing to attract international capital. This is because investors have a perception of safety and high returns on their investment; we need to instil confidence in investors,” he added.

To attract investment, Mutasa said there is need for clarity on policies.

“But maybe we’re sending the wrong signals to markets... the Act (indigenisation) had a ‘land reform’ type tag and politicians are not too clear on our economic destination. We need proper laws,” he said.

On taxation, Mutasa said government is drawing taxes from a “small pool of taxable people which is not sustainable”.

“I call on government to adopt a 10% tax regime to make it comfortable to pay tax. This will also help in attracting foreign direct investment.”

Commenting on the controversial indigenisation and economic empowerment regulations, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Youth Development, Prince Mupazviriho, denied that regulations had a knock-on effect on the ZSE when they were published.

“Markets were reacting to misinformation emanating from the international press hence the uncertainty that prevailed then,” said Mupazviriho.

He said hordes of investors have made enquiries with some seeking guidance, resulting in “a semblance of stability” adding that “non-blue chips are performing better than listed companies”.

Before the regulations were amended, the stock exchange retreated as investors put on hold the release of new money into the market.

- Nqobile Bhebhe