World waits for Chinamasa to signal Zimbabwe is open for business – Business Day

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The move crippled commercial agricultural output, with shipments of tobacco, the biggest foreign-currency earner, only starting to return to 2000 levels last year.

Hyperinflation, estimated by the IMF to have peaked at about 500-billion percent at the end of 2008, forced the nation to abandon its currency in early 2009 in favour of a basket of foreign exchange including the dollar, the rand, the euro and the pound.

The country has now printed what it calls bond notes, which it says have the same value as dollars.

Economic growth may contract in 2018 if no immediate steps are taken to solve protracted liquidity shortages, said BMI Research, a unit of Fitch Group. The government forecasts GDP will expand 3% in 2018 from 3.7% in 2017.

Reforms

Zimbabwe holds the world’s biggest platinum reserves after SA and also has chrome, gold, iron ore, coal and diamonds.

While mining is the largest source of foreign currency, fresh capital dried up under the law forcing foreign, white-owned companies to cede 51% of their businesses to black Zimbabweans or the government. Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Sinosteel are among companies operating there.