In the last two years, the economy of Zimbabwe recovered from a hyperinflationary period which threatened to bring the country to its knees. The introduction of the US Dollar (as the primary means of exchange) in February 2009 brought an end to the prevalent hyperinflation. As a result, Zimbabwe offers investors the rare and exciting opportunity of investing in an emerging market, with no exchange rate risk and huge upside potential.
Zimbabwe possesses significant mineral resources, including gold, diamonds, chrome and nickel. Various multi-national mining companies, including Rio Tinto and Impala Platinum, have benefited from Zimbabwe’s favourable mining legislation. They have also contributed to the communities in which they operate, and have installed value-adding equipment such as smelters and refineries.
The country also possesses the second largest resource of platinum in the world, and coal reserves are growing rapidly. Recently, several large deposits have been explored around the country, including the Lubu and Lubimbi coal fields. Also, several companies have shown their willingness to establish power stations in order to help the country deal with its power deficit. Zimbabwe discovered diamonds several years ago in Marange, and initial expectations are that this resource is significant. The Kimberley Process is presently reviewing the Government’s application for certification, which would allow for the export of these precious gems.
Production levels in most industries have decreased, and the country is now import-dependent for food security. However, several agricultural sectors are recovering strongly, including the tobacco industry, which produced over 114 million kilograms in 2010. Timber, horticulture and flowers, as well as pork, poultry and beef are major Zimbabwean industries.