By Auxilia Katongomara
The Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade is planning to meet members of the United States Congress and the European Union to discuss the removal of sanctions as part of its re-engagement drive.
In an interview yesterday, committee chairperson, Cde Kindness Paradza said the committee’s major thrust is re-engagement and international trade.
“Foreign Affairs is the face of Zimbabwe and we have been given an additional mandate which is international trade. So, what we are going to do this session is to assist the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in re-engagement programmes, as well as bringing in foreign direct investment through international trade and expanding our exports so that we bring in foreign currency
“So, that is our major thrust and also the removal of sanctions. My committee is going to engage Congress, the US through their external foreign affairs committee at Congress including the European Union so that we deal with these issues and Zdera as well,” said Cde Paradza.
He said his committee would also advocate for the resuscitation of major industries which are huge foreign currency earners like Ziscosteel.
The committees’ efforts would complement Government’s efforts led by President Mnangagwa in its re-engagement drive.
He has implored local companies to take advantage of the improving relations between Zimbabwe and top global powers to boost their production capacity and consequently exports.
“As our engagement and re-engagement efforts begin to yield visible benefits, I challenge industry to anticipate the expanded export market and develop business strategies with this in mind,” said President Mnangagwa while officially opening the 7th edition of the Exporters’ Conference in Harare earlier this month.
In August, US president Donald Trump signed into law the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Amendment Act which is an amendment to the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001.
The re-engagement of nations that had literally slammed the door on Zimbabwe, particularly after the land reform programme, started in November last year when the new administration led by President Mnangagwa came into office.
Already, plans to rejoin the Commonwealth are at an advanced stage while relations with multilateral financial institutions such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) are improving.
The IMF has indicated willingness to assist the country to structure a debt clearance strategy.