EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe Philippe Van Damme
HARARE,– Zimbabwe’s new government needs to speed up economic reforms necessary to improve the investment climate as the country faces a poor agricultural season, the European Union’s (EU) ambassador to Zimbabwe Philippe Van Damme has said.
The southern African nation’s growth prospects hinge on steady commodity prices and a good agricultural season but weather forecasts are pointing to poor rainfall this year, threatening the country’s agriculture.
“The agricultural season doesn’t seem as good as we would have hoped for so It is extremely important that the new dispensation starts delivering on its commitments. We have heard the President and his ministers make strong commitments on indigenisation and land issues, these are all critical elements of the reform agenda which will improve the investment climate,” Van Damme told journalists on Friday.
“The quicker government moves on these commitments the better the chances to turn around the economic prospects which are rather bleak right now but can dramatically improve.”
It is important that government clears its arrears to international financial institutions in the shortest possible period to start accessing new funding and international capital markets, Van Damme added.
The manner and climate in which elections will be held later this year will also have an impact on the overall investment climate and quality of engagement with international community, he said. – Source