By Fidelis Munyoro and Freeman Razemba
THE Chinese State Advisory Council is in the country to support the Government with research and economic development strategy as relations between the two countries advance to higher levels.
This is the first time the Development Research Centre (DRC) of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China has been given permission to assist a country outside its economic jurisdiction.
The five-day visit is a follow up to the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two countries recently.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube and the DRC of the State Council representative signed the MoU during the ministerial forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and China Africa Expo held in Beijing on June 26 this year.
Yesterday, the high-powered delegation paid a courtesy call on President Mnangagwa at his Munhumutapa Office, where they deliberated on a wide range of economic and development issues.
Speaking to journalists after the closed-door meeting, Prof Ncube said the visit provided an opportunity to interact and update key Chinese authorities and institutions on the progress that Zimbabwe has made with regards to the reform agenda.
“The objective of the MOU was to provide a framework for co-operation between the parties in carrying out China-Zimbabwe consultations focusing on economic and social development,” he said.
The Minister said China offered a team of experts to assist the country in developing its strategic plans.
“In this regard the mission will conduct research and field studies on the agreed areas of cooperation among them, infrastructure development and financing strategy; macro-economic stabilisation and enhancement of the business environment; and industrial structure transformation policy through value addition and beneficiation of natural resources.”
The DRC mission, said Minister Ncube, was taking place at a time when the country is in the midst of implementing key reforms necessary to achieve economic growth and development for the country.
“The reforms are starting to bear fruit with the ‘twin-deficit’ successfully tackled so far,” he said.
The Minister reiterated that the ongoing reforms were necessary for the economy as they are building a strong for future economic prosperity of the country.
This is in line with Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP)’s thrust and Vision 2030 of making the country to be an upper middle income by 2030.
Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Guo Shaochun said the delegation had a very productive discussion with President Mnangagwa as part of the exchange policy between Beijing and Harare.
“This is part of the comprehensive strategic relationship between China and Zimbabwe,” he said refraining from giving more details of the deliberations.
But earlier on during a meeting with Minister Ncube the head of delegation and DRC vice president Mr Long Guoqiang said the mission’s objective is to bring more investors to Zimbabwe in support of the country’s Vision 2030 goals.