The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has finalised the development of its Investment Climate Scorecard which will facilitate the improvement of the business environment in the region.
Development of the Scorecard is one of SADC’s interventions to make the region a preferred investment destination with an enabling business environment.
SADC Secretariat Deputy Executive Secretary for Regional Integration, Angèle Makombo N’tumba, explained in a statement on Saturday that this would be backed by legislation, procedures and various rules of operation that make it easier and attractive for investors to invest in the region.
N’tumba stated that the scorecard supported and promoted national reforms to harmonise investment policies to conform with regional policies and align with international best practices.
These reforms were done through National Action Plans on Investment (NAPIs).
The SADC secretariat has successfully supported Member States to develop their NAPIs and as of October 2023, eight Member States Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Namibia, Seychelles, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe had benefited from this support, while three others were underway.
“The investment Climate Scorecard, combined with national reforms through the NAPIs, will enhance the competitiveness of the private sector in the SADC region.
“Once actualised, the two developments will help attract and increase inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the region,” N’tumba said.
She stated that an improved business environment would also benefit local companies as this would facilitate trade and help them reposition their business into the regional and global value chains.
N’tumba explained that the Scorecard facilitated monitoring of progress made by Member States towards regional integration goals, provides information, and creates awareness about the openness of the business environment of the SADC region.
The information in the Scorecard would also facilitate benchmarking the state of reforms and monitoring both trends and dialogue across the SADC Member States.
“SADC aims to attract FDI by improving those factors that are crucial to investors, outlined in the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP).
“These factors include a stable political and macroeconomic environment, favourable regulations, quality economic infrastructure, qualified human resources, transparent legal systems, regional market integration, and a harmonised investment regime,” N’tumba said.
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