Zim open to Chi­nese in­vest­ment, need to erad­i­cate cor­rup­tion: VP Mphoko

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Takunda Maodza in Fu­jian, CHINA

ZIM­BABWE is open for Chi­nese in­vest­ment but there is a need to erad­i­cate cor­rup­tion and in­still dis­ci­pline if the coun­try is to suc­cess­fully fol­low the eco­nomic foot­steps of its gi­ant Asian ally, Vice Pres­i­dent Phelekezela Mphoko has said.

China has meta­mor­phosed from be­ing a very poor na­tion over three decades to be­com­ing the world’s sec­ond big­gest econ­omy after it im­ple­mented rad­i­cal eco­nomic changes that in­cluded open­ing up its mar­ket to for­eign in­vest­ment.

VP Mphoko made the re­marks when he met Mr You Quan the Com­mu­nist Party sec­re­tary for the Fu­jian Province in Xiemen City yes­ter­day.

Xiemen is a coastal city with a pop­u­la­tion of 36 mil­lion peo­ple.

Fu­jian Province in which Xiemen is lo­cated, is an eco­nomic hub with a $400 bil­lion Gross Do­mes­tic Prod­uct.

VP Mphoko is lead­ing a Zim­babwe del­e­ga­tion at­tend­ing the 19th China In­ter­na­tional Fair for In­vest­ment and Trade.

Over 600 busi­nesses from more than 90 coun­tries are at­tend­ing the in­vest­ment ind­aba where they are ex­pected to show­case their prod­ucts.

“Zim­babwe is a very young coun­try in terms of de­vel­op­ment but we have what you do not have, nat­u­ral re­sources. Zim­babwe is open for Chi­nese in­vest­ment. You can come on a Gov­ern­ment to Gov­ern­ment ar­range­ment or you can come on com­pany to com­pany and so forth,” said VP Mphoko.

He im­plored China to give Zim­babwe its “recipe” for eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment say­ing the coun­try was ea­ger and willing to learn from its Asian all-weather friend.

“We wish to be like you. We want to de­velop our coun­try the same way you did with yours. Our re­la­tions date back to the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle. You have sup­ported us through our war of in­de­pen­dence. The les­son of dis­ci­pline is one thing we re­quire,” said VP Mphoko.

“Dis­ci­pline of the peo­ple and I think that is the rea­son why you are at that level of de­vel­op­ment be­cause of the dis­ci­pline of your peo­ple. We ad­mire that. It is a recipe for de­vel­op­ment — the zero tol­er­ance law against cor­rup­tion.”

VP Mphoko said the visit by Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe to China and a re­cip­ro­cal one by Pres­i­dent Jin Jin­ping to Zim­babwe last year was a clear tes­ti­mony of vi­brant bi­lat­eral re­la­tions between the two coun­tries which must trans­late into eco­nomic ben­e­fits for both sides. “There are com­pa­nies that we have es­tab­lished between Zim­babwe and China. All what we need to do is to make sure those com­pa­nies are func­tion­ing well for the bet­ter­ment of our peo­ple,” he said.

VP Mphoko said Zim­babwe had a lot of gold and he in­tended to, among other things, es­tab­lish how best to as­sist small-scale min­ers dur­ing the in­vest­ment ind­aba which of­fi­cially opens to­mor­row.

He also high­lighted in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in tim­ber in Mata­bele­land North Province and in var­i­ous other sec­tor of the econ­omy.

“Al­low us to cope and take the best things from you in or­der to de­velop our coun­try,” said VP Mphoko.

He as­sured the Asian coun­try that Zim­babwe would re-pay loans ex­tended to it by China and was al­ready work­ing on modal­i­ties.

“We have been very wor­ried that all you have given us we have not paid. The Pres­i­dent is very an­gry about that and very soon that pro­gramme (re­pay­ment) will be un­folded and we are go­ing to pay.”

In re­sponse, Mr You saluted the close re­la­tions between Zim­babwe and China but un­der­scored the need for dis­ci­pline and to ini­tia­tive mar­ket re­forms. “The coun­try should open up to the out­side world. Open­ing up means mak­ing full use of de­vel­op­ment from other coun­tries, make use of in­ter­na­tional re­sources. Each coun­try has its own strengths and weak­nesses, let us com­ple­ment each other. Zim­babwe has many rich nat­u­ral re­sources. Those re­sources give you a bet­ter po­si­tion for de­vel­op­ment. We en­cour­age com­pet­i­tive Fu­jian busi­nesses to in­vest in Zim­babwe. We must have sta­bil­ity for de­vel­op­ment to oc­cur. When in­vestors in­vest abroad they want sta­bil­ity,” said Mr You. The in­vest­ment and trade fair of­fi­cially opens to­day. It fea­tures 6 000 ex­hi­bi­tion booths which cover an es­ti­mated 138 000 square me­tres.

The event held an­nu­ally since 1997, is con­sid­ered one of the largest global in­vest­ment plat­forms aimed at fa­cil­i­tat­ing bi­lat­eral in­vest­ment.

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