Top Lawyer Blasts World Bank's Doing Business Report

“I told them that the Doing Business report does not consider the fact that things work in Zimbabwe,” Manikai told more than 100 local and international business executives gathered in Harare for the three-day “Improving the business climate in Zimbabwe workshop” held at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC).
“Things work here. Our Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA works. Roads work. The telecommunications system works. We have a One Stop Shop at the ZIA and this works. So I do not know why we are rated so lowly in report by the World Bank.
“In fact I have told them to look at it again because it is unfair on Zimbabwe which is trying its best to recover.”
Zimbabwe was rated 171 out of 183 countries studied by the World Bank as far as Doing Business is considered.
Many things are considered including how many days it takes to start a business in the country, how to register a property as well as the political and economic environment in a country.
The World Bank was represented at the workshop by Cemile Hacibeyoglu who is the Financial and Private Sector Development Director.
“Zimbabwe must do better,” she said.
“We judge what we see but I think if the country follows what is being suggested here by delegates the country can go up the ladder.”
David Govere, President of the Business Council of Zimbabwe (BCZ), on the other hand, said Zimbabwe should listen and become “real”.
The BCZ is a gathering of all the business groups in Zimbabwe.
“We must appreciate reality,” Govere said at the workshop when he gave his official presentation.
“As business we do not underestimate the criticality of the situation and the urgency of this scenario with formal employment below 30 percent and overall industry’s capacity utilisation below 50 percent,” he told the delegates.
“The Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) levels are very low; exports far below imports and the non engagement of multilateral institutions as well as the crippling effects of sanctions are affecting us all here.
“The Doing Business Ranking Index has sufficiently pointed out the areas where we are weakest and it is our view that government, business and labour have to seriously look at addressing the issues that have kept this economy down for so long.”
Out of the levels of poverty and disposable income from the six countries surrounding Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe and Malawi are rated the lowest with about $60 billion FDI reported in 2009.
“The population of Zimbabwe (13 million) is at least six times that of Namibia and Botswana (2 million each) while the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the two countries are no less than 1,5 times that of Zimbabwe,” Govere said.
“Overnight, vast tracts of land in Zimbabwe have become dead capital unable to secure any meaningful credit.”