THE United Arab Emirates (UAE) has pledged to support government in its economic recovery plan which is underpinned by the Zimbabwe is open for business mantra.
BY BUSINESS REPORTER
The pledge for support was made at the just-ended Arabian Travel Market (ATM) annual tourism event held last week in Dubai during a courtesy visit by Tourism and Hospitality minister, Priscah Mupfumira (pictured) and Zimbabwe Ambassador to Kuwait, Mark Marongwe.
In a statement, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) said the courtesy visit was made to senior vice president for commercial services in the Dubai Chambers, Atiq Juma Faraj Nasib, who expressed interest in Zimbabwe’s thrust.
“Success of the UAE hinges upon making sure that the people who do the work are kept happy. There was also need to embark on re-branding of Zimbabwe and creating the necessary awareness, including manufacturing of quality, original Zimbabwe products that identify with the country. It is encouraging to note that Zimbabwe can now only blame itself for taking its time to leverage upon the offers being put across by the UAE,” he said.
“Zimbabwe is rich in natural and human resources. It is never too late to do anything.”
Nasib encouraged Zimbabwean companies to register for trade with Dubai, which has become the most lucrative trade hub in recent years and commended those that participated in the ATM.
In terms of trade, for the months of February and March, Zimbabwe exported $98,1 million worth of goods and imported $24,84 million from UAE showing a trade surplus.
Mupfumira explained to Nasib that Zimbabwe is on an economic recovery trajectory hence the thrust to re-engage the international community.
Nasib and Mupfumira also discussed a number of national economic development issues, key among them, air connectivity, agricultural marketing and tourism with indications that the Emirates airline is considering introducing direct flights to Victoria Falls.
It was also disclosed during the visit that Dubai had a keen interest in Zimbabwe’s agricultural products and trade opportunities which had to be harnessed for sustainable economic recovery for government.
Mupfumira invited the UAE to consider investing in Zimbabwe as it “prides itself with the natural God-given tourist attractions including the Falls and a rich safari consortium”.
The minister was attending the ATM event as a way of promoting the country as a top tourist destination to maximise on the renewed optimism from the outside world.
The Dubai government expressed willingness to assist Zimbabwe in setting up its diplomatic office in Dubai office before end of 2019.
However, Nasib emphasised the urgency of expediting direct diplomatic exchanges between Zimbabwe and UAE.