Companies Act review on course. To be ready H1 2017

THE amendment of the country’s Companies Act (Chapter 23:04) is progressing well with the bill set to be promulgated within the first half of this year, an official has said.

The review of the Companies Act is part of broader initiatives by the Government to improve the country’s doing business environment through a Rapid Results Approach.

Deputy Chief Secretary to the Office of the President and Cabinet Dr Ray Ndhlukula said the Companies Act Amendment Bill will be presented before Cabinet in the next two weeks.

He said the broader doing business reform agenda hinged upon review of the Companies Act and accompanying pieces of legislation.

“This reform initiative will be further buttressed by the developments, which are happening on the legislative front, where the Companies Act together with other related laws and procedures are being amended and streamlined to conform to the needs of the Zimbabwean business climate and contemporary best practices,” said Dr Ndhlukula.

“The bill is going for Peer Review and will be submitted for consideration by Cabinet Committee on Legislation before mid March 2017. It is our  expectation that it will be enacted into law in the first half of 2017.”

He was addressing participants at an ‘End-Term Review of the Ease of Doing Export Business Rapid Results Project for Increasing Value-Added Exports’ in Harare on Monday.

The Ease of Doing Export Business — Rapid Results Initiative (RRI) was launched in December last year, with two thematic groups tasked to focus on the areas of ‘export capacity’ and ‘export regulations, procedures and permits’, respectively.

Dr Ndhlukula said the ongoing reform initiative was focused on addressing the following obstacles to export sector growth: complex and burdensome procedures administered by multiple regulatory agencies; high costs of production, and limited access to affordable long-term trade finance, and centralisation of agencies in major cities, among others.

“Overall, all these challenges render Zimbabwean products uncompetitive on the international market and also make them expensive locally.

“This therefore negatively affects industrial growth and development,” he said.

The export sector reform initiatives are aimed at increasing value-added exports by five percent, as well as reduce the time and cost of exporting by 50 percent. — BH24