In­dia urged to scale up trade with Zim­babwe

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

THE Deputy Min­is­ter of In­dus­try and Com­merce, Cde Raj Modi, has called on In­dian pri­vate and pub­lic busi­nesses to scale up trade with their coun­ter­parts in Zim­babwe.

Ad­dress­ing del­e­gates at the se­cond edi­tion of the In­dia Gold and Jew­ellery (GJEPC In­dia) Sum­mit be­ing held in New Delhi yes­ter­day, Cde Modi, who is the guest of hon­our, said de­spite the fact that In­dia and Zim­babwe en­joy strong cor­dial re­la­tions that date back to the era of the Mun­hu­mu­tapa King­dom, it was dis­heart­en­ing to note that trade be­tween the two coun­tries was low.

No­ta­bles at the sum­mit which ends to­day in­clude the chair­per­son of GJPEC In­dia Mr Pramod Ku­mar Agrawal, the In­dian Min­is­ter of Com­merce and In­dus­try Mr Suresh Prabhu, World Gold Coun­cil CEO Aram Shish­ma­nian and Zim­bab­wean Am­bas­sador to In­dia Maxwell Ranga.

Cde Modi said: “I have no doubt that this sum­mit will pro­vide a solid plat­form for in­vest­ment and trade co­op­er­a­tion be­tween Zim­babwe and In­dia in the sec­tor.

“To­tal trade be­tween Zim­babwe and In­dia is still low, av­er­ag­ing US$166 mil­lion be­tween the pe­riod 2015 and 2016 down from US$234 mil­lion in 2014-15. The bi­lat­eral trade has been in favour of In­dia over the years. Min­er­als, pre­cious met­als and stones such as gold have been among Zim­babwe’s ma­jor ex­ports to In­dia.

“Zim­babwe’s ma­jor im­ports from In­dia have in­cluded phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, base met­als, chem­i­cals, ma­chin­ery and equip­ment, elec­tri­cal com­po­nents such as trans­form­ers, cal­i­brat­ing me­ters, and elec­tric con­duc­tors. No­tably, In­dian com­pa­nies con­tinue to main­tain their pres­ence in Zim­babwe mainly in the food and bev­er­ages, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and agro-pro­cess­ing in­dus­tries.

“There are over 25 ma­jor com­pa­nies owned by In­di­ans and Zim­bab­weans of In­dian ori­gin in Zim­babwe.

“Against this back­ground, po­ten­tial re­mains un­der-ex­ploited on eco­nomic co­op­er­a­tion be­tween Zim­babwe and In­dia. The need to con­tin­u­ously fa­cil­i­tate pri­vate sec­tor busi­ness en­gage­ments can­not be over-em­pha­sised, es­pe­cially in the value ad­di­tion and ben­e­fi­ci­a­tion of gold, di­a­mond, plat­inum and other min­er­als.”

Cde Modi re­it­er­ated that Zim­babwe was open for busi­ness adding that In­dian busi­nesses at ev­ery level were wel­come to part­ner with their coun­ter­parts.

“Zim­babwe has plenty of busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties, not only in the gold and jew­ellery sec­tor, but also in other sec­tors which in­clude agri­cul­ture and agro-pro­cess­ing, in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment, en­ergy and power gen­er­a­tion, in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tech­nolo­gies, health and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, among other ar­eas. I there­fore, want to im­plore you to come and ex­plore var­i­ous in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in th­ese sec­tors.

“For Zim­babwe, busi­ness syn­er­gies are quite crit­i­cal for the at­tain­ment of Vi­sion 2030 agenda to­wards a mid­dle in­come coun­try as pro­nounced in the new Tran­si­tional Sta­bil­i­sa­tion Pro­gramme (TSP). Busi­ness fo­rums such as this are one way of fa­cil­i­tat­ing busi­ness en­gage­ments. The onus is ac­tu­ally upon the pri­vate sec­tors of our two coun­tries to com­ple­ment the ef­forts of the two Gov­ern­ments in boost­ing trade and in­vest­ment co­op­er­a­tion,” he said.

The Bu­l­awayo South Con­stituency Mem­ber of the Na­tional As­sem­bly told dig­ni­taries at the sum­mit or­gan­ised by the Gem and Jew­ellery Ex­port Pro­mo­tion Coun­cil of In­dia that Zim­babwe was look­ing for in­ter­na­tional in­vestors to help add value to its pre­cious met­als.

“I want to recog­nise the busi­ness del­e­ga­tion from Zim­babwe who have ac­com­pa­nied me to this sum­mit, they have come to ex­plore busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties with their In­dian coun­ter­parts in the jew­ellery in­dus­try.

“It is ap­pre­ci­ated that, with sup­port from the Gov­ern­ment of In­dia, Zim­babwe has im­mensely built the hu­man skill base in the di­a­mond cut­ting and pol­ish­ing and ca­pac­i­ties have been de­vel­oped in var­i­ous ar­eas.

“The Gov­ern­ment wishes to lever­age on this de­vel­op­ment and en­hance in­vest­ment and trade part­ner­ships in this area to pro­mote value ad­di­tion of pre­cious met­als,” said Cde Modi.

MSU Chan­cel­lor Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa con­grat­u­lates Teck­lah Usai who grad­u­ated with a Doc­tor of Phi­los­o­phy de­gree in Nutri­tion at the MSU grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony in Gweru yes­ter­day.— (Pic­ture by Eliah Saushoma)

Cde Raj Modi

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