New Zimbabwean finance minister Mthuli Ncube is a man on a mission. Just days after being sworn in as the country's fourth finance minister within a decade, Ncube embarked on "listening roadshows" across the country. His first stop on Wednesday was to listen to the challenges faced by 50 executives of some of the largest corporate firms in Zimbabwe, including Delta Beverages, a unit of global brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev; retail giant Pick n Pay; mobile operator Econet Wireless; and financial services firm Old Mutual. The challenges faced by these corporates belie President Emmerson Mnangagwa's "Zimbabwe is open for business" mantra, aimed at courting foreign investors into the country with the promise of the ease of doing business. The World Bank ranks Zimbabwe at 159 out of 190 economies on its Ease of Doing Business Index. The executives told Ncube that they were constrained by "the prohibitive cost of finance, severe foreign currency shortages, high import duties, an uncompetitiv...

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