By Farai Mabeza
SUNWAY City, whose industrial area has been earmarked for special economic zone (SEZ), is seeking investors for the remaining 800 hectares on its integrated industrial park.
The company, a subsidiary of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), said it was seeking strategic partners to co-develop the 800 hectares, or financiers to provide long term project finance for development of infrastructure projects within the park or joint ventures for the development of specific projects.
The preferred projects include a medical park, high tech park, regional shopping centre and an arts and culture centre.
The park covers a total of 1 559 hectares. Some of the companies that are already operating in the park include Chemplex Animal & Public Health, Huamin, Triple Tee Footwear, Farshab Investments and Lebenon Investments.
Sunway City is situated 11 kilometres east of Harare’s central business district and is being developed into specialised industrial clusters, which include a high tech park, medical park, value addition and beneficiation cluster, light industry, office park and recreational park.
Sunway City was established by the IDC in partnership with Sungeiway of Malaysia in 1996.
“Its mandate is to develop eco-friendly world class special economic zones with integrated industrial, commercial, residential institutional and recreational parks so as to provide relevant infrastructural development to facilitate industrialization and economic growth of Zimbabwe as well as regional international trade,” the company said.
Zimbabwe has struggled to attract foreign direct investment due to an unfavourable regulatory environment and a high risk premium. Potential investors continue to be spooked by political uncertainty and a lack of clarity on the country’s indigenisation laws.
Newly appointed Special Economic Zones board chairman and former governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Gideon Gono, said recently that SEZs would address such concerns.
“I’m pleased that government has taken the Special Economic Zones route as a way of correcting its past shortcomings with regards to attracting foreign direct investment,” Gono
said, adding that he hoped the whole of Zimbabwe could be turned into a SEZ in 10 to 20 years.
Japanese economic expert and executive advisor to government in Laos, Motoyoshi Suzuki told government officials last year that the environment “must be predictable. No sudden turns. The investors have to trust your government. Sudden change is not good. Keep your promises. Keep your word. In our SEZs there is no corruption”.