Zimbabwe is a safe investment destination and Government must be commended for working to improve the ease of doing business in the country, a South African industrialist has said.
This was said by Portnex International managing director Mr Frikkie Laubscher at the Zimasco stop of Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s tour of industries in Midlands province last week.
Mr Laubscher said: “Zimbabwe is an investment friendly destination.
The Zimbabwean Government is committed to protecting foreign investment interests. It furthermore goes the extra mile to see the successful execution of projects invested in.”
He added that Zimbabwe had a broad skills base, an educated workforce and well-established support industry.
VP Mnangagwa reiterated that Zimbabwe was open for business and welcomed investors who understood Government’s push for mutually beneficial partnerships.
“I agree with (Industry) Minister (Mike) Bimha. There are companies that are opening for the growth of the economy but such positive news is not being reported.
“The media only focus on ailing or folding companies.
‘‘But after touring the companies in Midlands, we can see that there’s positive growth of the economy,” VP Mnagagwa said.
Portnex got involved with Zimasco’s west plant after the ferro-chrome producer suspended furnace operations in December 2015 due to plummeting commodity prices and debts in excess of US$100 million.
The parties signed a five-year off-take agreement and Portnex has commissioned two furnaces in the past four months, and is aiming to have a third furnace operational by August.
The west plant has estimated production capacity of 100 000 tonnes of ferro-alloys annually when fully operational.
Portnex aims to be Zimbabwe’s biggest integrated metals producer and is tying up settlement agreements with steelmakers in China and Europe.
Portnex’s operations also cover marketing of commodities such as thermal and coking coal, anthracite, and metallurgical coke.
The firm describes itself as a global reductant-specialist, which ensures effective carbon usage through value-in-use simulations. sunday mail