Cabinet has approved the implementation 11 investment projects worth $5,3 billion, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa has said. Briefing the media after yesterday's Cabinet meeting, Minister Mutsvangwa said work on the projects -- which cut across various economic sectors -- should begin immediately.
"The Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet (Dr Misheck Sibanda) circulated for the information of Cabinet a list of 11 projects which have been approved by His Excellency the President for immediate implementation after processing by the One-Stop Investment Service Centre," she said.
"These projects include the joint venture partnership between Verify Engineering Private Limited and Magcor Consortium Group of Companies on coal to fertiliser manufacturing valued at $750 million, the joint venture partnership between Verify Engineering Private Limited and Magcor Consortium Group of Companies on the manufacturing of medical and industrial gases valued at $5,3 million.
"Also approved is the joint partnership between Mindlink Holdings and Government of Zimbabwe on establishment of a Bullion Bank valued at $2 billion and the joint venture between Hondius Capital Management, an asset management firm and the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe on infrastructure development through establishing the Zimbabwe Infrastructure, Housing and Development Bank valued at $800 million."
Other approved projects include the Iron and Steel Company of Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd project for manufacturing of iron and steel in a Special Economic Zone valued at $1,1 billion, the Zimbabwe FINCOMECO on the establishment of a Warehouse Receipt System and Agriculture Commodity Exchange in Zimbabwe ($81,365 million) and a joint venture partnership between the Cold Storage Commission (CSC) and Boustead Beef (Pvt) Ltd on the livestock joint farming concession ($130 million).
Afrochine (Pvt) Ltd, a Chinese company on ferrochrome will be mining and smelting in a Special Economic Zone in a project worth $200 million, while Nkonyeni Agriculture will set up warehouses, an inland trading port and agro-processing plant in a Special Economic Zone at a cost of $200 million.
Another Chinese firm, Suwerin (Pvt) Ltd will mine and process granite in a Special Economic Zone in a project worth $20 million while Berhad Development Corporation (Pvt) will run a diamond processing, diamond training school and diamond exchange trading Special Economic Zone valued at $53 million.
Minister Mutsvangwa said Cabinet also received an update on price hikes, availability of fuel, basic commodities and medicines.
"Cabinet noted that overally, the supply of basic commodities continues to stabilise while fuel supply was now largely normal," she said.
"However, the prices of basic commodities still remain too high. The limited availability of medicines and the fact that some pharmaceutical outlets continue to demand US dollars for their products is a major concern to Government. Efforts will be taken to scale up engagements between Government and players in the pharmaceutical industry to come up with a mutual agreed position. Going forward, Cabinet resolved that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe should urgently assist the packaging industry as it is affecting the prices of most products and that a Foreign Currency Utilisation Monitoring Mechanism be established to monitor those companies that are receiving foreign currency from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. It was also resolved that a re-industrialisation strategy involving targeted support for key local manufacturers to be identified through an industrial audit exercise be urgently undertaken and that ongoing efforts to boost medical supplies involving Government to Government arrangements with India, toll manufacturing and other financial facilities be expeditiously concluded."
Minister Mutsvangwa said Cabinet received a report from Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira on her recent trip and exhibition at the World Travel Market in London.
"We are happy to tell you that there was an award ceremony held during the event to recognise the top 10 destinations to visit in 2019," she said.
"This followed a poll that was completed in October 2018 by Lonely Planet giving Sri Lanka, Germany and Zimbabwe top ratings based on the nominations of editors, researchers, locals and influencers. Zimbabwe was ranked number three best tourist destination to visit in the world next year. This is a prestigious ranking and indicative of the great potential which we have as a country. The award and endorsement had a huge impact on the popularity of Zimbabwe and we are now expecting a follow up visit by a representative from Lonely Planet to come to Zimbabwe and collect content for the comprehensive Lonely Planet travel guide as they do with other destinations."
She said Cabinet expressed concern over the recent road accident in Rusape which claimed 46 lives and resolved to call for greater enforcement of the country's road traffic regulations through the use integrated traffic management systems and increased highway police patrols.
It was also resolved that a Road Accident Compensation Fund be urgently set up to help ameliorate the plight of those injured and the bereaved families.
"Drivers of public passenger vehicles must undergo defensive driving examination and re-testing after every two years," Minister Mutsvangwa said.