Story by Davison Vandira
ZIMBABWE and China’s economic diplomacy is paying dividends as more than 50 local export companies are in Beijing for a business expo meant to strengthen trade, investment and tourism opportunities.
The Zimtrade facilitated outward seller mission to Beijing is part of the country’s export promotion mission, with local companies confident the programme will unlock new opportunities for equipment and raw materials.
“I am really delighted as a horticulture player to be among various companies that are here in China for an exchange programme meant to increase our country’s product visibility in China as we seek to get insights on how we increase product penetration in this region, especially for agro-processed goods,” highlighted Sweet Maungwe CEO, Mrs Jacqueline Gowe.
Zimbabwe International Trade Fair Chief Executive Office Mr Nicholas Ndebele said, “As a trade promotion body we have been hosting various companies from around the globe on an annual basis, however, it’s also prudent that we are in here in China to learn how they are developing their industries to continuously meet its domestic and foreign demands.”
According to Zimtrade, the country is targeting growing exports of value-added products to China.
“This is the first time that we have come with this big business entourage obviously considering how the Chinese market is big and we would like to carve as many export opportunities as possible,” noted Zimtrade CEO, Mr Allan Majuru.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ambassador Fredrick Shava, who met his Chinese counterpart, His Excellency Qin Gang, ahead of the forum which begins this Tuesday noted the benefits of Zimbabwe – China relations.
“The Chinese Government has provided support to Zimbabwe across many sectors, including the design and construction of the majestic New Parliament Building in Harare, which was recently completed and we are waiting for the official handover ceremony. The New Parliament Building is a hallmark of the excellent relations between our two countries. I have invited my Chinese counterpart to visit Zimbabwe for the handover ceremony. We have other ongoing projects nearing completion such as the Hwange 7 and 8 Thermal Power Expansion Project which will add 600 megawatts to the National Grid and the Upgrading and Expansion of the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport which will enhance international air connectivity of our capital city. These are just a few of the many projects and programmes of cooperation between our two countries,” he said.
The Zimbabwe-China Business Forum will run from this Tuesday through to Wednesday and will include business-to-business engagements as well as company visits.