By Fidelis Munyoro
Government’s Look East Policy has benefited the country, as various projects came on stream through co-operation with the Chinese government, a Cabinet minister has said. The Government deliberately adopted the Look East Policy, after its traditional business partners in the West severed ties with the country over the land reform.
The West slapped the country with unilateral sanctions.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Lieutenant General Dr Sibusiso Moyo (Retired) said the Look East Policy, which was meant to mitigate the impact of sanctions, was largely successful. China, he said, filled the void by providing technical cooperation and investing in various sectors of the economy.
“Major projects such as the Kariba South, Victoria Falls Airport construction, and Hwange Power Station expansion projects came on line through cooperation with the Chinese,” said Minister Moyo.
“A major project recently sealed is the expansion of the RG Mugabe International Airport. Once completed, it will turn the airport into a modern international hub, thus facilitating tourism and trade.”
Minister Moyo said this while giving a lecture titled “Zimbabwe Foreign Policy Making Process and The Benefits Accrued from the Look East Policy” at the Zimbabwe National Defence University yesterday.
He said Zimbabwe had now repositioned itself in a rapidly changing global village characterised by the emergence of major political and economic players like the BRICS group of countries comprising Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa.
On re-engagement with the West, Minister Moyo said serious dialogue had already started with key constituent countries, among them the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, France, Sweden and Australia.
“We seek an honest, respectful and forthright dialogue that will let go the past, explore and pursue mutually beneficial economic opportunities,” he said.
“Zimbabwe’s plea is for those countries that imposed sanctions to reconsider them and afford the country a fresh beginning.”
Minister Moyo said Zimbabwe envisaged a new era of vibrant trade and economic relations.