Zimbabwe has historically been one of the most robust economies in southern Africa, with substantial natural resources and a highly regarded workforce. The performance of the Zimbabwean economy will remain inextricably linked to the policy and political climate over the coming years. Zimbabwe’s government is gradually beginning to re-engage with the international development community.

We keep our clients informed of the latest market moves and political developments in Zimbabwe, as part of our 'top-down' and 'bottom-up' perspective. Clients also benefit from in-depth analysis on 12 of Zimbabwe’s most important industries. We provide interactive data and forecasting alongside detailed and risk-assessed analysis from our expert research teams. Our aim is to keep you ahead of the game, so you can do business with ease in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe Country Risk

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Core Views:

  • Zimbabwe will record positive, albeit very mild, economic growth over the next two years as an ongoing dollar shortage compounds the impact of adverse weather conditions. The uncertainty surrounding the possibility of regime change will mean prospects for a strong recovery remain slim before President Mugabe's succession.

  • An ongoing currency shortage and slow economic growth will continue to weigh on public finances over the next two years. Some relief will come from the government's efforts to re-establish relations with the IMF, allowing access to much-needed credit from international lenders, but this will nonetheless lead to some widening of the budget deficit.

  • In the event of de-dollarisation in Zimbabwe, high levels of inflation would make a return to the economy, as weak balance of payments dynamics would...

Zimbabwe Operational Risk Coverage (9)

Zimbabwe Operational Risk

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BMI View: Zimbabwe's economic crisis and political isolation has contributed to a marked deterioration in the country's business environment over the past 15 years. In particular, businesses face a myriad of risks stemming from corruption and a large bureaucratic burden, which lowers the country's competitiveness relative to its southern African neighbours, such as Zambia and, to a greater extent, South Africa. Other salient threats include poor access to utilities, notably water and power, as well as insecure property rights for foreign businesses. Moreover, the quality of Zimbabwe's health care sector has declined considerably over the last several decades, thereby contributing to poor health within the labour force. As a result, the country receives a score of 34.7 out of 100 for Operational Risk, ranking 27th out of 48 states in Sub-Saharan...

Zimbabwe Crime & Security

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BMI View: Crime and Security Risk is the lowest area of risk in the Operational Risk environment for investors and businesses in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe offers a safer operating environment than most Sub-Saharan African (SSA) states, as the country enjoys stable relations with its neighbours, is not a target of international terrorist groups and has comparatively low levels of violent crime. The main security risk to investors in Zimbabwe stems from the threat of political violence which tends to flare up around election periods. Current succession battles within the ruling party, ZANU-PF have contributed negatively to political stability in Zimbabwe, and we have seen a premature spike in political violence with different factions engaging in clashes countrywide in 2015. While foreign workers and travellers are exposed to petty theft and burglaries, crime affecting businesses such as cyber and financial crime is low. As a...

Zimbabwe Labour Market

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BMI View: Zimbabwe's labour market cannot compete with its regional peers owing to low levels of productivity, public health issues and the residual effects from the economic collapse and hyperinflation during the mid-2000s. Although Zimbabwe has a favourable demographic situation, with more than 60% of the population younger than 24, the country has proved incapable of turning its population into skilled workers, and we see no sign of this situation improving over the medium term. Taking these factors into consideration, BMI awards Zimbabwe a score of 36.9 out of 100 for Labour Market Risk, placing the country 29th in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), between Cote d'Ivoire...

Zimbabwe Logistics

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BMI View: Zimbabwe has a limited and low-quality transport network. With a lack of access to maritime trade flows and the added stress placed on an ailing road and rail network, Zimbabwe's reliance on its neighbouring countries for efficient trade poses a threat to investors. Additionally, movement of goods is hampered by lengthy bureaucracy and relatively expensive trade procedures, creating additional costs for businesses. Although the country presents well in terms of its market size, due to steady economic growth following years of decline, the country is at risk from adverse affects of its current trade deficit and expensive fuel costs, compromising the success of business operations in the country.

Zimbabwe scores 33.6 out of 100 in the BMI Logistics Risk Index,...

Zimbabwe Trade & Investment

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BMI View: The combination of endemic corruption, weak rule of law, caps on foreign investment and a lack of its own currency serve to make Zimbabwe an unattractive operating environment for foreign firms. Corruption in particular poses a major obstacle to foreign investment and participation in the economy by lowering the accountability and impartiality of the judicial system, incurring adverse consequences for important procedures such as the filing and paying of taxes, the resolution of contractual disputes and the registration of property. Intellectual property rights are also poorly enforced, raising the probability of financial losses due to copyright violations and piracy. Taking these factors into consideration, BMI awards Zimbabwe a score of 22.9 out of 100 for overall Trade and Investment Risk, placing the country 45th out...

Zimbabwe Industry Coverage (13)

Zimbabwe Agribusiness

BMI View:

BMI View: We expect Zimbabwe to remain a net corn importer over the longer term. Over the next five years, we expect production of the grain to demonstrate moderate growth, although production will remain well below the totals seen in the early 2000s and much of the growth will be in the form of a recovery. We are more optimistic regarding the sugar sector, where access to key markets and potential for productivity improvements will drive production over the long term. Although we forecast a domestic sugar market...

Zimbabwe Autos

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BMI View: We hold a downbeat outlook for Zimbabwe's autos sector in 2017 as economic growth remains weak and the country continues to battle an ongoing liquidity crisis. Given these factors, we forecast vehicle sales to fall 6.6% in 2017.

Passenger Car And Light Commercial Vehicles
e/f = BMI estimate/forecast. Source: National sources, BMI

Key Views

  • Vehicle sales will contract 6.6% in 2017.

  • ...

Zimbabwe Commercial Banking

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Commercial Banking Sector Indicators
Date Total assets Client loans Bond portfolio Other Liabilities and capital Capital Client deposits

Zimbabwe Food & Drink

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BMI View : Zimbabwe's food and drink industry will continue to decline due to soft domestic demand, food shortages and a booming informal food and drink sector. We do not expect to see a recovery in Zimbabwe's food and drink industry over our forecast period as the country continues to navigate a tough economic climate. We forecast Zimbabwe's real GDP to grow at 1.1% in 2016, barely recovering from the recession the country entered in 2015. Despite downward pressure on prices, the mass grocery retail sector is set to grow at a subdued rate, driven by aggressive price competition in the sector and the entrance of new players.

Headline Industry Data (...

Zimbabwe Infrastructure

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BMI View: Zimbabwe's construction industry remains highly risky for investors, poorly financed and subject to the policies of President Robert Mugabe, which have resulted in a very poor business environment. Zimbabwe is keen to encourage foreign investment. However, thus far, China remains the only actor making inroads into the country via the power and mining sectors.

Forecast and Latest...

Zimbabwe Insurance

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BMI View: With annual average growth rates of over 10%, we have a positive long-term outlook for Zimbabwe's insurance sector. While we are mindful of the wider economic issues presently faced by Zimbabwe, both markets will see particularly strong growth prospects from 2018 onwards, which should provide fruitful opportunities for increased investment and new market entries. Especially in the smaller and more fragmented non-life market, we expect to see some degree of consolidation as new entrants may seek to establish a rapid presence by acquiring smaller incumbents.

Headline Insurance Forecasts (Zimbabwe 2013-2020)
2013 2014

Zimbabwe Mining

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BMI View: Zimbabwe's mining industry will grow steadily in absolute terms over our forecast period through to 2019 as production increases across the key platinum and diamond mining sub-sectors. However, we note a number of potential downside risks on the horizon, including falling mineral prices and an uncertain political and regulatory climate.

Zimbabwe Mining Industry Value
2013e 2014e 2015f

Zimbabwe Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare

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BMI View: Zimbabwe is one of the top 20 fastest growing pharmaceutical markets in 2016; however growth will slow considerably in the coming years. Weak economic conditions and a drop in revenue from taxes will further impact the already severely underfunded public healthcare services. Furthermore, a high abundance of counterfeit drugs and increasing political tensions make Zimbabwe one of the least attractive markets in the region for multinational drugmakers.

Headline Expenditure Projections

  • Pharmaceuticals: USD380mn in 2015 to USD400mn in 2016; +4.5% in US dollar terms. Forecast unchanged from last quarter.

Headline Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Forecasts (Zimbabwe...

Zimbabwe Power

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BMI View: Zimbabwe's power crisis will worsen throughout 2016 as prolonged periods of low rainfall decreases the country's hydropower capacity. Struggling to pay for the cost of importing will also add to the country's power shortage woes.

Headline Power Forecasts (Zimbabwe 2014-2020)
2014e 2015f 2016f 2017f 2018f 2019f ...

Zimbabwe Retail

BMI View:

BMI View : Recovery in Zimbabwe's retail sector will remain dependent on the wider economic and social situation in the country. Growth will be muted over the near term due to multiple challenges, such as cash shortages, poor harvests, tight crediting conditions as well as extreme political uncertainty. As we expect these pressures to alleviate gradually over the medium term, growth in the retail sector will pick up toward the end of our forecast period to 2020.

Headline Household Spending
e/f = BMI estimate/forecast....

Zimbabwe Telecommunications

BMI View:

BMI View : BMI 's Southern Africa report analyses the latest industry, regulatory and macroeconomic developments in the telecoms markets in Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Mauritius and Namibia. It also contains our estimates based on the latest market data and updated five-year forecasts to 2020 for the mobile, fixed-line and broadband sectors. From the five states, Mauritius and Mozambique stand out as dynamic and higher performing markets in terms of penetration and 3G/4G developments along with growth rates.

Latest Updates & Industry Developments

  • Important downward revisions were made to Angola's...

Zimbabwe Telecommunications

BMI View:

BMI View: In Zimbabwe we expect mobile subscription growth to remain in positive territory throughout our forecast period, driven by increasing price competition and network expansion to previously underserved areas of the country. However, the incidence of multiple SIM ownership will increase as operators vie for market share with aggressive promotions. Additional competition would also have a positive impact on market growth. Both In Zambia advanced mobile data services provide a useful opportunity for the operators to diversify their revenue stream away from traditional voice services. Both Zimbabwe and Zambia's mobile markets set to benefit from tower sharing arrangements, which will enable operators to cut costs and expand to underserved areas, which should consequently boost mobile growth.


Zimbabwe Tourism

BMI View:

BMI View: We hold a generally positive outlook for the Zimbabwean tourism sector over the course of our forecast period to 2020, due to growing arrivals from Asia and outside Africa. Nevertheless, we hold a somewhat subdued outlook for 2016, mainly due to the influence of the 15% VAT on tourist accommodation. We expects regional arrivals to decrease through the forecast period as travel becomes more expensive, while overseas arrivals are forecast to increase. Even though Zimbabwe has high potential to become a tourist hub through its vast attractions, this potential is hindered by unsophisticated travel routes, poor...

Latest Zimbabwe Articles

Latest Zimbabwe Blogs

  • BMI Research has just published a special report, Top 10 Political Successi...

  • Below is a selection of key financial market stories published in Business ...

  • As the dust settles following Zimbabwe’s controversial election, we discuss...

Latest Zimbabwe Podcasts


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