Chinese to drive Zim’s construction sector

Chinese to drive Zim’s construction sector
Zimbabwe’s construction industry remains risky for investors.

Zimbabwe’s construction industry remains risky for investors.

A British research firm, BMI, says it expects an uptick in Zimbabwe’s construction industry over the next five years, supported by increased Chinese investment.
BMI, a unit of Fitch, said growing Chinese involvement in the market would be critical in keeping construction growth in positive territory over the coming years.
“We are forecasting annual industry expansion of 4,3 percent in real terms over our 10-year forecast between 2017 and 2026. The highest growth will come between 2017 and 2020. We are forecasting 6,1 percent real growth over this period, underpinned by Chinese investment flows,” said BMI in its report on the construction sector.
It said a planned $6 billion industrial park to be developed by Chinese firm, Qingdao Hengshun Zhongsheng Group, would be a major growth driver.
The 200-square kilometre business park will take advantage of the introduction of special economic zones and would include the industrial park, a non-ferrous metallurgy processing plant for the manufacture of mining and agricultural processing equipment, a power station and an upgraded rail system, said BMI.
But it warned that Zimbabwe’s construction industry remained risky for investors, and would continue to be one of the smallest construction markets globally.
The industry was depressed in the latter part of 2016, with a number of projects being suspended due to lack of funding.
The company ranked Zimbabwe 100 out of 105 markets globally in its infrastructure risk/reward index (RRI), and 17 out of 18 markets in Sub-Saharan Africa table.
BMI said the country’s overall RRI score of 29,1 out of 100 reflected poor demand dynamics, elevated political and economic risk and an unattractive business environment.

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