19 February 2019

Zimbabwe: We've Confidence in ED, Says China

China is confident Zimbabwe will achieve its developmental goals under the leadership of President Mnangagwa, whose reforms will transform the economy and attract more investors, the Asian giant's acting ambassador here has said.

Addressing delegates at the 2019 Chinese Spring Festival gala in Harare on Sunday night, Acting Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Zhao Baogang -- who is also the Charge d'Affaires at the embassy -- said Zimbabwe will surmount the problems it faced.

He predicted that the country would achieve President Mnangagwa's vision of transforming Zimbabwe into an upper middle income economy by 2030.

This, he said, would be aided by international cooperation, with China already enjoying fruitful ties with Zimbabwe and undertaking major developmental projects.

"China has strong confidence in the Government and people of Zimbabwe under the leadership of President Emmerson Mnangagwa," he said.

"Zimbabwe will achieve development. Tomorrow will get better and better and better.

"We expect that Zimbabwe will continue to maintain peace and stability.

"We expect that Zimbabwe will deepen reforms and come up with more policies to attract more foreign investment. We expect the bilateral relations will strengthen by each passing day."

Mr Zhao said China strongly supports Zimbabwe's demand to have illegal sanctions removed and that his country seeks to promote an equitable and fair system of global governance.

He said President Mnangagwa's Government was working tirelessly to restore the economy and international confidence through the re-engagement process.

"Zimbabwe has gone through ups and downs and withstood the hardships," said Mr Zhao. "Every country has its own problems and headaches. No country has a smooth journey of national development and Rome was not built in a day. Let us be patient and give development a chance."

Mr Zhao said his country will provide more grants, assistance and investments to Zimbabwe.

A 35-member Chinese business delegation is expected to visit Zimbabwe next week to promote cooperation in agricultural production, manufacturing sector and special economic zones construction.

Mr Zhao said his country will encourage its nationals in Zimbabwe to actively participate in economic development to assist in economic recovery and the realisation of vision 2030.

Speaking at the same occasion, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the second republic was working on concrete steps to ensure the transitional stabilisation programme succeeded.

"Zimbabwe has intensified its efforts of engaging with the international community, taking advantage of President Mnangagwa's 'Zimbabwe is open for business' mantra to embrace all foreign investments with a better and conducive environment," she said.

"Given time, Zimbabwe shall find its proper path suitable for its own national circumstances and fully tap its potential. With the help of the Chinese government and the international community, the country will realise vision 2030 and rise as an economic centre in Southern Africa."

China and Zimbabwe have strong ties and their bilateral relations have been elevated to the highest level of Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Cooperation.

President Mnangagwa had successful visits to China where deals, some of which are already being implemented, were signed.

Projects undertaken by the Chinese such as Kariba South Hydroelectric power expansion project and the Victoria Falls International Airport expansion have already been commissioned.

Work by Chinese firms on Hwange Thermal Power Station expansion, construction of new Parliament Building and the expansion of Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport has already started.

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