The Sino-Zimbabwean trade and economic cooperation presents a
rosy picture as the Zimbabwean government's Look East policy has
created opportunities for the Chinese investors, a Chinese diplomat
said in Harare on Monday.
Despite the difficulties on the road of economic development of
Zimbabwe, there has been a big surge in trade between China and
Zimbabwe in the past years and more investment from China has
poured into this Southern African country, Hu Ming, business
councilor from the Chinese embassy in Harare, told Xinhua in an
exclusive interview on Monday.
"I am very positive about the future of the trade and economic
cooperation between the two countries and confident in furthering
development of China's partnership of mutual benefit with
Zimbabwe," Hu said.
Figures from the Chinese embassy showed that the bilateral trade
between the two countries hit a new high in 2005, totaling US$280
million. The total trade volume in the first eight months this year
has reached US$210 million, indicating the bilateral trade of this
year will surpass that of last year.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Zimbabwe,
Chinese investment in the country stood at over US$600 million so
far. To date, there are over 35 Chinese companies operating in
Zimbabwe, and the country continues to benefit from increased
cooperation and trade with China, Joey Bimha, the ministry's
permanent secretary, told a gathering recently.
In the past few years Zimbabwe has strengthened its relations
with China as part of its Look East policy that it adopted in order
to attract new trading partners and markets. The two countries have
signed a series of cooperation agreements in infrastructures,
tourism, energy and mining.
The Chinese councilor said new ways have been found to resolve
the shortage of foreign currency in Zimbabwe, which is perhaps the
biggest problem that hinders the further development of trade and
economic cooperation between the two countries.
With the signing of the agreement on the framework of bilateral
development and cooperation in July 2005, Hu said the Chinese
companies can easily get access to funds for their joint
Hu said the Chinese and Zimbabwean governments signed an
agreement on preferential loans of 200 million yuan (about US$25
million) in September this year, and in October, a new agreement on
purchaser's credit amounting to US$200 was signed between Chinese
banks and the Zimbabwean government in a bid to enhance the
bilateral trade and economic cooperation.
With these new developments in the bilateral relations, Hu said
there is a possibility that the bank loans for the Chinese
companies in Zimbabwe could expand to as large as US$2 billion to
"We would like to find a new way and create a new model for the
development of the bilateral relations here in trade and economic
cooperation with Zimbabwe," the Chinese councilor said.
Hu said that with more investment by the Chinese companies, the
trade between the two countries will surely be increased in a big
margin. He predicted the total trade volume will go up to US$500
million in 2008.
He said China shared strong historical ties with Zimbabwe and
was enjoying increased cooperation on many economic and political
fronts. The new partnership between the countries which is deeply
rooted in these strong historical ties will benefit the two
countries and the two peoples in many ways, he added.
The Chinese business councilor has received hundreds of Chinese
delegations who are touring in Zimbabwe to seek business
opportunities over the past three years. He said he believes that
the bilateral trade and economic cooperation between China and
Zimbabwe will enter a new stage in the near future with the
concerted efforts by the two governments and peoples.
(Xinhua News Agency October 25, 2006)