Firms to Benefit From China’s $60bn Facility

Tawanda Musarurwa recently in BEIJING, China

Mobile phone network provider NetOne, Robert Mugabe International Airport and Hwange 7 and 8 units are some of the projects ear-marked to benefit from the $60 billion concessionary loans from China, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo has said.

Government plans to retool NetOne, construct Hwange Power Station 7 and 8 units to boost power generation and to upgrade RG Mugabe International Airport to a world-class facility.

Chinese President Xi Jinping announced — while officially opening the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) — that his country was pledging $60 billion for financing various projects in Africa.

The financing will be provided in the form of government assistance as well as investment and financing by financial institutions and companies.

In an interview on arrival at the Robert Mugabe International Airport from China yesterday, Minister Moyo said the three projects had satisfied the criteria to access funding under the $60 billion facility.

“In April, the key projects which were approved were, firstly, Hwange 7 and 8, and you are aware that a ground-breaking ceremony was done by His Excellency (President Mnangagwa); the second project is the Robert Mugabe International Airport upgrade and that expansion is already underway, there has been a ground-breaking ceremony; and the third one was the NetOne expansion, which is also already underway.

Zimbabwe’s private sector should submit bankable projects.

“The projects are all market-oriented, except where the funds are concerned and it means there must be proper feasibility studies. It means both Government and the private sector should really come up with world-class feasibility studies that are firm and viable and this is so that projects can be able to be self-sustaining within the framework of project finance mechanisms,” added the Foreign Affairs Minister.

The $60 billion facility will see China implement eight major initiatives with African countries in the next three years and beyond, covering fields such as industrial promotion, infrastructure connectivity, trade facilitation, and green development.

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