Story by Owen Mandovha, Business Reporter
OVER five trade deals have been signed at the second edition of the Zimbabwe-Belarus Business Forum in Harare, where political and economic relations between the two countries took centre stage this Monday.
More than 33 high-ranking industrialists from Belarus, led by Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Mr Piotr Parkhomchyk met their Zimbabwean counterparts under the second edition of the Zimbabwe-Belarus Business Forum, a precursor to the high-profile historic visit by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.
Guest of Honour at the event, Vice President General (General) Dr Constantino Chiwenga highlighted how the growing political relations between the two countries are generating economic benefits.
“Today, I am also pleased to say that there are Belarusian companies which have expressed their interest in investing in the manufacturing sector in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is a member of the African Continental Free Trade Area which represents an opportunity to serve over one billion people,” he said.
Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Mr Parkhomchyk referred to the five-fold growth in trade between Zimbabwe and Belarus as a historic achievement.
“Five years ago, trade between Zimbabwe and Belarus was almost non-existent. Gradually, trade is growing and by now, it has grown five-fold in five years. That is a resemblance of the strengthening political and economic relations between Belarus and Zimbabwe,” he said.
Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce President Mr Mike Kamungeremu and his Belarusian counterpart Mikhael Miatlikov promised to harness more trade linkages in various sectors of the economy.
“This is the second edition of the forum following the first one which was held in 2019. Today witnessed how the two countries are growing their trade relations by the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement and the trade deals by the private sector from each respective country,” said Mr Kamungeremu.
“The Belarusian business industry has forged serious deals with local companies in several sectors, mainly agriculture. We are also looking forward to a reciprocal visit by the Zimbabwean delegation to Belarus in June,” said Mr Miatlikov.
The trade agreements, mainly in the area of agriculture, were signed by private sector organisations to further elevate trade relations between the two countries.