Six Indo-Zim agree­ments sealed

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - FRONT PAGE - Kuda Bwititi and Nor­man Muchemwa

ZIMBABWE and In­dia yes­ter­day signed six agree­ments to heighten bi­lat­eral co-op­er­a­tion and ex­plore mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial op­por­tu­ni­ties in health, me­dia, sports, min­ing and ICTs.

Vice-Pres­i­dent Kembo Mo­hadi and his In­dian coun­ter­part VP Venka­iah Naidu over­saw the sign­ing cer­e­mony in Harare yes­ter­day.

VP Naidu is on a three-day work­ing visit to Zimbabwe and is ac­com­pa­nied by In­dia’s For­eign Sec­re­tary Mr TS Tir­imurti, MPs and se­nior govern­ment of­fi­cials.

The first agree­ment to be signed was on the re­cip­ro­cal ex­emp­tion of visa re­quire­ments for hold­ers of diplo­matic pass­ports.

Home Af­fairs and Cul­tural Her­itage Min­is­ter Cain Math­ema signed on be­half of Govern­ment while Mr TS Tiru­murti rep­re­sented In­dia.

The sec­ond agree­ment was on an ac­tion plan for co-op­er­a­tion in ICTs, which was signed by Min­is­ter Math­ema in his ca­pac­ity of Act­ing Min­is­ter of For­eign Af­fairs and In­ter­na­tional Trade.

Mr TS Tiru­murti rep­re­sented the Asian gi­ant on a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing on arts, cul­ture and her­itage with Youth, Sport, Arts and Recre­ation Min­is­ter Coven­try; and an­other on co-op­er­a­tion in ge­ol­ogy, min­ing and min­eral re­sources with Mines and Min­ing De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Win­ston Chi­tando.

There were also agree­ments on tra­di­tional sys­tems in medicine and home­opa­thy (signed by Health and Child Care Min­is­ter Dr Oba­diah Moyo), while the Zimbabwe Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion signed an MoU on an ac­tion plan on broad­cast­ing and ICTs with In­dian me­dia or­gan­i­sa­tion Prasar Bharati.

The par­ties also held a Zimbabwe-In­dia Busi­ness Fo­rum, where VP Mo­hadi said VP Naidu’s visit would deepen re­la­tions be­tween the two na­tions.

“It is my plea­sure to grace the Zimbabwe-In­dia Busi­ness Fo­rum with my coun­ter­part, the vis­it­ing Vice-Pres­i­dent of In­dia, Honourable Shri Venka­iah Naidu. The visit pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity to strengthen eco­nomic co-op­er­a­tion be­tween Zimbabwe and In­dia in the fields of trade and in­vest­ment,” he said.

“I am happy to note that the vis­it­ing Honourable Vice-Pres­i­dent of In­dia is ac­com­pa­nied by a big busi­ness del­e­ga­tion from

In­dia. Equally en­cour­ag­ing is the par­tic­i­pa­tion of a big num­ber of Zim­bab­wean busi­ness peo­ple in this fo­rum.

In­dia, VP Mo­hadi said, was a strate­gic part­ner and po­ten­tial mar­ket for Zim­bab­wean goods and ser­vices, as well as a source of fin­ished goods, in­vest­ment and tech­nol­ogy trans­fer.

VP Naidu said there was scope of the two coun­tries to co-op­er­ate more.

“In­dia and Zimbabwe have very strong trade co-op­er­a­tion dat­ing back to the 17th cen­tury when the two coun­tries traded in ivory, met­als and other items. Our co-op­er­a­tion is based on fair val­ues of democ­racy and rule of law.

“In­dia can form eco­nomic part­ner­ships with Zimbabwe both for do­mes­tic econ­omy, in the key ar­eas of min­ing, agri­cul­ture, en­gi­neer­ing, com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nol­ogy, health, among oth­ers,” he said.

“Zimbabwe can also co-op­er­ate with In­dia in food pro­cess­ing, value ad­di­tion and ben­e­fi­ci­a­tion of goods for the bet­ter­ment of the two friendly coun­tries. In­dia is ad­vanced in terms of agri­cul­ture tech­nol­ogy and the use of drip ir­ri­ga­tion. In­dian farm­ers should come to Zimbabwe to work with Zim­bab­wean farm­ers on pri­vate-busi­ness part­ner­ships.” Co-op­er­a­tion on in­ter­na­tional plat­forms, he said, should be used to the ben­e­fit the two na­tions.

“Our two coun­tries share sim­i­lar views on in­ter­na­tional is­sues and there is need for con­tin­ued co-op­er­a­tion on the in­ter­na­tional fo­rum on is­sues of mu­tual un­der­stand­ing which can ben­e­fit both coun­tries.

“I am happy that Zimbabwe held a free and fair elec­tions, we had our del­e­ga­tion here; free and fair elec­tions open demo­cratic space and can open Zimbabwe for busi­ness.”

Among dig­ni­taries at the fo­rum were min­is­ters Mon­ica Mutsvangwa (In­for­ma­tion, Me­dia and Broad­cast­ing Ser­vices) and Chi­tando, Deputy Min­is­ter Raji Modi (In­dus­try and Com­merce), and am­bas­sadors from both coun­tries.

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