Kudakwashe Mugari in SOCHI, Russia
A Russian firm, Uralkali, which is keen to invest in Zimbabwe’s agriculture and mining sectors, has engaged President Mnangagwa to reaffirm its interest in taking up investment opportunities in Harare.
Speaking after a courtesy call on President Mnangagwa here on Tuesday night, Uralkali chief of the board of directors Mr Dmitriy Mazepin said Zimbabwe has numerous investment opportunities that should be exploited to cement bilateral relations between Harare and Moscow.
President Mnangagwa is here attending the ongoing Russia-Africa Summit, which is running concurrently with an economic forum.
Mr Mazepin promised the President that his company will invest more in agriculture and mining. The company has already been supplying Zimbabwe with fertiliser since January.
After the closed door meeting, President Mnangagwa said he was happy with the implementation of the company’s investment proposal.
“Yes, we had a very fruitful meeting checking on progress so far achieved since January (when we last discussed with them) in Moscow,” said the President.
“My brother here (Mr Mazepin) supplied fertiliser to Zimbabwe which we have been using. They also told us that they are looking forward to invest in mining.
“I’m happy about that. Since our last discussion here in Moscow, there is implementation.”
Mr Mazepin said President Mnangagwa’s administration has levelled the business playing field, prompting them to want to massively invest in the agriculture and mining sectors.
“. . . we believed Zimbabwe is the future for our chemical business. We thank President Mnangagwa. We are also looking forward to invest in mining and agriculture,” said Mr Mazepin.
Mr Mazepin said they want to expand the mining and processing of Dorowa phosphate mine and the plant that processes fertilisers.
Mr Mazepin has an estimated net worth of US$7,7 billion and according to Forbes he is in the Top 100 of richest Russians.
He plans to invest in Zimbabwe’s 500 000 tonne per year fertiliser business.
The Russia-Africa Summit presents Zimbabwe with an opportunity to cement business relations for the benefit of the two countries.