The Herald (Harare)

26 April 2014

Zimbabwe: Govt Targets Investment, Reviews Economic Policies

Government is reviewing all economic policies to position the country as the premier investment destination in Africa, Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Ambassador Chris Mutsvangwa has said.

Addressing the Zimbabwe-China Business workshop on the sidelines of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair on Thursday, Ambassador Mutsvangwa said Zimbabwe was open for business.

"We are in the process of revising our economic policies so that the country becomes the number one destination for investment on the continent. The revision of policies is in line with the Government's vision to set up Special Economic Zones in different parts of the country," he said.

An SEZ is a geographical region designed to export specific goods and create employment.

Ambassador Mutsvangwa said it was time to increase trade volume, especially between Zimbabwe and its all-weather friend, China.

"There are bigger opportunities for economic co-operation between Zimbabwe and China.

"The two countries have had good relations since the liberation struggle. I would like to encourage China to support our efforts to establish SEZ in some parts of the country," said Ambassador Mutsvangwa.

"I know both countries very well and that they are capable of boosting their economies.

"We have to increase the volume of trade and work hard to be rich. Zimbabwe is rich in resources and China stands to benefit from investing in the country."

Economic and commercial counsellor at China's Embassy to Zimbabwe, Mr Han Bing, said the country was important to the Asian powerhouse.

"Zimbabwe has abundant natural resources and well-developed infrastructure.

"In the past five years, the country had a rapid economic development and now has a huge market potential," he said.

"In recent years, we could see the fast growth of bilateral trade between China and Zimbabwe. China has been in the top five largest trading partners of Zimbabwe since 2010."

Mr Bing said in 2012 that China's annual bilateral trade with Zimbabwe breached the US$1 billion mark, while last year the total volume of trade stood at US$1,1 billion.

"China and Zimbabwe enjoy profound and traditional relations. Zimbabwe always regard China as its reliable all weather friend and we are ready to work with Zimbabwe to strengthen the existing friendly relations and co-operation," he said.

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