By Felex Share and Ishemunyoro Chingwere
The visiting Chinese business delegation, which is in the country to implement deals sealed between Zimbabwe and China, has said it has been impressed by President Mnangagwa’s commitment to transform the economy after years of regression.
The delegation from Anhui Province yesterday met President Mnangagwa, having participated in a business forum hosted by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in conjunction with the Chinese Embassy in the morning.
The business forum saw two Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) being signed, one between the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) and Anhui Shui’an Construction Group for the construction of Rupanga Dam.
Speaking after meeting the President, Anhui provincial deputy governor Mr Zhou Xi’an said deals which his province sealed with Zimbabwean firms had reached implementation stage.
President Mnangagwa visited China in April and sealed several deals with his counterpart President Xi Jinping. The deals cut across various economic sectors. “Your President visited China and Anhui Province in April,” said Mr Zhou.
“This time, my visit to Zimbabwe is mainly to implement the agreement between Presidents Mnangagwa and Xi Jinping, especially in the area of economic trade.
“Actually, we give priority to Anhui and Zimbabwe cooperation in our work. During the meeting with the President we pointed out plans for our future cooperation. First of all, we will try our best to develop agriculture to secure the food system of Zimbabwe.
“We will work together in the fields of agricultural product processing into the marketing of food.”
Once operational, the industrial zone is expected to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and skills from the highly mechanised and advanced Chinese State company.
Mr Zhou said the two countries were working on cooperation in the manufacturing sector and energy sectors.
“Now, we are paying much attention to specific fields, but in the future we will cover all the fields,” he said. “We will try our best to speed up implementation and we could appreciate if you could give support to the cooperation between us. Let us work together to make it done.”
At the business forum, Mr Zhou said they had been impressed by President Mnangagwa’s quest “to make Zimbabwe great”.
“During President Mnangagwa’s visit (to China), I accompanied him and I must say I was deeply impressed by his spirit to make Zimbabwe great again,” he said.
Industry and Commerce Deputy Minister Raj Modi said Zimbabwe was running with Vision 2030 by which time it should achieve middle income status.
“We cannot achieve this objective if we, as a country, continue to export unprocessed or semi-processed products,” he said.
“Our key priority is to enhance value addition and beneficiation of our agricultural produce and mineral resources, thereby generating economy-wide multiplier effects that will drive economic growth.
“We have plenty of investment opportunities in different sectors which include agriculture and agro-processing, mining and mineral beneficiation, manufacturing and value addition, tourism development, infrastructure development in energy, transport, information communication technology, water and irrigation development and other sectors.”