The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Mujuru Decries Low Prices for Zim Diamonds

Vice President Joice Mujuru has said the price value being placed on local diamonds is very low despite Zimbabwe being one of the fastest growing diamond producers. She was speaking on Sunday when she paid a courtesy call on the Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Alqasimi, here.

VP Mujuru said due to the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, the country was being margilanised when it comes to the price of its precious stones.

She said that the illegal sanctions continued to impact negatively on the country, hence there has not been much progress.

Had it not been for the illegal sanctions, VP Mujuru said, the country could have developed faster.

VP Mujuru said she was pleased to note that Ras Al Khaimah had a similar indigenous policy with Zimbabwe, showing that both governments are keen on making their people empowered.

"We want real friendship so that we will have a win-win situation," she said.

"I am pleased to note that your indigenous policy is not different from ours. We are more or less the same."

Sheikh Alqasimi said his government was looking forward to some partnerships with Zimbabwe in investment.

Meanwhile, VP Mujuru has urged Arab investors to take seriously the business relationships which they have with Zimbabwe and explore various opportunities in the country.

She was speaking while making her presentation on the first day of the two-day Third Global Arab Business Meeting on Sunday.

"I have come here to meet with you, to openly invite you to take this business relationship seriously, so that you go further by considering to increase trade and investment in the areas of food and nutrition and security," said VP Mujuru.

"Many people the world over are going hungry when countries like Zimbabwe are awash with arable land that we can jointly put to the benefit of all.

"This productive investment in land, us Zimbabweans are saying, should be done without an exploitative spirit, but a brotherly and sisterly spirit of love and sharing."

VP Mujuru said investing in Zimbabwe had "mutual benefits with respect to high cash returns in viable agro-businesses such as agricultural sector".

"I encourage you, as much as we will do, to promote cultural exchanges and to support our present and future generations; promote the participation of our business leaders in the modernisation of African economies, Zimbabwe in particular and the development of new channels of financing and innovation," she said.

"Investment opportunities between the UAE (United Arab Emirates) and Africa, Zimbabwe in particular are non exhaustive. In the case of Zimbabwe, high cash return investments include large scale foreign investment in agriculture, agri-food, bio-fuels, solar and mini-hydro power plants, property and tourism, extensive demand for residential accommodation, value addition of primary commodities like cotton and black granite, including manufacturing of gadgets like cellphones, ipads and laptops etc."

VP Mujuru said other opportunities available were in the infrastructure, mining, agriculture, irrigation and water sectors.

Making his presentation, Sheikh Alqasimi said in order for the Arab world to develop, there was a need to have a mindset change.

He said the current turmoil being experienced in some parts of the Middle East should not hinder progress.

VP Mujuru, who is being accompanied by several senior Government officials, is expected back in the country today.

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