‘Zim on China in­vest­ment pri­or­ity list’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Harare Bureau

ZIM­BABWE has been listed as one of the 18 African coun­tries which China will pri­ori­tise in terms of in­vest­ment and co-op­er­a­tion, a se­nior of­fi­cial from the Asian eco­nomic gi­ant’s Na­tional De­vel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion has said.

NDRC deputy sec­re­tary gen­eral Dr Fan Heng­shan said China has also put Zim­babwe into the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) ini­tia­tive, which out­lines new ar­eas for co-op­er­a­tion with the world.

“Na­tional De­vel­op­ment and Re­form Com­mis­sion (China) ranks Zim­babwe in the top six out of 18 African coun­tries. We have also put Zim­babwe into the One Belt, One Road ini­tia­tive,” he said.

The OBOR ini­tia­tive em­pha­sises five ar­eas of co-op­er­a­tion namely co-or­di­nat­ing de­vel­op­ment poli­cies; forg­ing in­fra­struc­ture and fa­cil­i­ties net­works; strength­en­ing in­vest­ment and trade re­la­tions, en­hanc­ing fi­nan­cial co­op­er­a­tion; and deep­en­ing so­cial and cul­tural ex­changes with China.

Dr Heng­shan told a pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity and in­vest­ment fo­rum or­gan­ised by The Of­fice of the Pres­i­dent and Cabi­net in Harare yes­ter­day that China is closely study­ing poli­cies and re­quire­ments of Zim­babwe for co­op­er­a­tion un­der the OBOR ini­tia­tive.

He pointed out that China has al­ready started close co­op­er­a­tion and mak­ing ar­range­ments with cen­tral Gov­ern­ment and lo­cal au­thor­i­ties for im­ple­men­ta­tion of in­vest­ments start­ing with Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zones.

Since Satur­day, NDRC has been lead­ing a huge Chi­nese del­e­ga­tion com­pris­ing of­fi­cials from the re­form and de­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion and sev­eral large scale Chi­nese firms.

The del­e­ga­tion was made up of firms from Gansu Prov­ince.

The lat­est visit fol­lows the visit by Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Jin Ping last year with sev­eral meet­ings hav­ing al­ready been held to pro­mote trade and in­vest­ment.

The meet­ings also re­sulted in a Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing signed be­tween NDRC and the Min­istry of In­dus­try and Com­merce for pro­mo­tion and de­vel­op­ment of Sun­way City SEZ and other ar­eas.

The Chi­nese com­pa­nies, which were part of the del­e­ga­tion led by NDRC, op­er­ate in var­i­ous sec­tors of the econ­omy in­clud­ing min­ing, agri­cul­ture, con­struc­tion, tourism and min­ing.

To that end, Mr Hang­shen said that the NDRC and China De­vel­op­ment Bank are in the process of study­ing the fea­si­bil­ity of ex­tend­ing fund­ing sup­port to Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zones in Zim­babwe, start­ing with Sun­way City and Vic­to­ria Falls SEZs.

China’s NDRC urged Zim­babwe to look into other pol­icy is­sues that in­clude the busi­ness cli­mate, tax­a­tion, indi­geni­sa­tion and other tech­ni­cal is­sues to at­tract more in­vest­ment from China, es­pe­cially into spe­cial eco­nomic zone.

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