19 August 2014

Zimbabwe: Bimha in China, Seeks Aid for Ailing Industry

Photo: Nehanda Radio
Robert and Grace Mugabe.

INDUSTRY and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha left the country for China on Tuesday to seek Chinese investment in a bid to revive Zimbabwe's ailing manufacturing sector.

Bimha's trip to China is ahead of an official visit to that country by President Robert Mugabe, during which the country is expected to plead for a bail-out package.

Latest statistics from industrial body Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries show that manufacturing capacity utililsation has plummeted to 30 percent but economists feel it might end the year even lower.

Apart from reduced capacity some companies have been closing with a recent report showing that 10 big companies in Mutare have closed.

Bimha told The Source that he was going to China- a country the Zimbabwe has turned its focus to in search for both capital and investments - as it tries to revive its economy.

"I am on my way to China right now," said Bimha on Tuesday.

"Obviously, China is our friend. We want to talk to companies there to see how they can help us. I will have more information when I come back."

Chinese investments in Zimbabwe rose by more than 5,000 percent in the past five years, according to statistics released by the Chinese embassy in May while trade between the two countries has now topped $1 billion according to a trade monitoring body Tralac.

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