Zim­babwe, China sign $1b MOU for set­ting up steel plant

Iran Daily - - Tse & Global Economy -

Zim­babwe and China signed a $1-bil­lion mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing (MOU) for es­tab­lish­ing a steel plant that can pro­duce up to two mil­lion tons of steel per an­num.

The MOU is among sev­eral deals signed at the start of a four-day Zim­babwe-china Busi­ness Forum that is be­ing at­tended by a high-pow­ered Chi­nese del­e­ga­tion from Zhe­jiang Prov­ince, Xin­hua re­ported.

The del­e­ga­tion is be­ing led by Che Jun, sec­re­tary of Zhe­jiang Pro­vin­cial Com­mit­tee of the Com­mu­nist Party of China (CPC).

Che said the del­e­ga­tion was in Zim­babwe to scout for busi­ness and in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties to help Zim­babwe in­dus­tri­al­ize its econ­omy.

The Zhe­jiang del­e­ga­tion’s trip to Zim­babwe fol­lows Pres­i­dent Emmerson Mnan­gagwa’s visit to China in April, dur­ing which sev­eral other in­vest­ment and co­op­er­a­tion agree­ments were signed be­tween the two coun­tries, which el­e­vated their ties to a com­pre­hen­sive strategic part­ner­ship of co­op­er­a­tion.

Che said Zhe­jiang was keen to in­ject in­vest­ment in Zim­babwe to en­able it to mean­ing­fully par­tic­i­pate in the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive.

A wealthy coastal prov­ince of China, Zhe­jiang’s trade with Zim­babwe stood at $160 mil­lion in 2017, ac­count­ing for 12 per­cent of China’s to­tal trade with Zim­babwe.

Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary in the Min­istry of Mines and Min­ing Development Munesu Mun­odawafa told Xin­hua that the deal in­cludes es­tab­lish­ment of a 600-megawatt ther­mal power sta­tion to sup­ply power to the steel plant that will be based in the Mid­land Prov­ince of Zim­babwe.

He said fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies for the project will start on July 1 fol­lowed by a roll-out plan.

The project is be­ing spear­headed by a sub­sidiary of Chi­nese firm Ts­ing­shan in Zim­babwe, Afro­chine, which is al­ready into fer­rochrome pro­duc­tion.

“We an­tic­i­pate that when it’s fully op­er­a­tional, this project will cre­ate up to 3,000 per­ma­nent jobs and pro­duce up to two mil­lion tons of steel per year over the life of the project which we have put at about 25 years,” said Mun­odawafa.

“Ts­ing­shan is one of the top five pro­duc­ers of stain­less steel in the world. We be­lieve we have cho­sen the best and we be­lieve we will get the best out of them,” he said.

Open­ing the forum, Zim­bab­wean Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa urged in­vestors from the two coun­tries to take ad­van­tage of the el­e­va­tion of ties be­tween the two coun­tries.

He also in­vited more Chi­nese firms to ex­ploit Zim­babwe’s vast in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“We look for­ward to mas­sive in­vest­ment by Chi­nese com­pa­nies that will see Zim­babwe ful­fill­ing its vi­sion of be­com­ing a mid­dle-in­come econ­omy by 2030,” he said.

He also in­vited Chi­nese fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions to es­tab­lish in Zim­babwe and of­fer af­ford­able fi­nan­cial so­lu­tions to the coun­try as it pushes with its eco­nomic re­vival agenda af­ter years of in­ter­na­tional iso­la­tion.

Turk­ish Lira Euro Bri­tish Pound Aus­tralian Dol­lar Canadian Dol­lar Crude Oil Gold Cop­per 0.2165 1.1746 1.3355 0.7570 0.7673 $65.91 $1298.40 $3.22 Ja­panese 100 Yen Chi­nese Yuan UAE Dirham Kuwaiti Di­nar Iraqi 100 Di­nar Sil­ver Plat­inum Wheat 0.9042 0.1561 0.2722 3.3028 0.0008 $16.85 $895.80 $531.25

CHEN YAQIN/XIN­HUA Zim­bab­wean Pres­i­dent Emmerson Mnan­gagwa

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