The Zimbabwean government is currently working on joint ventures with China for the development of Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs), a cabinet minister said on Monday.
Small to Medium Enterprises Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni told Xinhua that the ministry wants to encourage SMEs to venture into business with China in line with the country's Look East Policy.
"We intend to encourage our SMEs to enter into joint ventures in China to enable Zimbabweans to manufacture their own machinery and become self sufficient," she said, adding that SMEs had benefited from the cordial relations between the two countries.
Last year, a group of SMEs participated in China's trade fair and they clinched a number of good business deals. Some have managed to solicit machinery for their products, Nyoni said.
"We are considering doing the same this year," she added.
Nyoni said the government wanted the joint ventures with China to be along the same lines as those established between Zimbabwe and India in June this year when they signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) worth 5 million U.S. dollars for the development of SMEs in the country.
She said relations with China had benefited the majority of Zimbabweans in the SME sector who now sell goods from the Asian country, adding the establishment of joint ventures would accrue further benefits for the country.
Efforts to establish joint ventures for SMEs with China complements the Look East policy the government adopted in 2003 when relations with the West became frosty over its land reform program embarked on in 2000 to address the imbalance in land distribution.
China has also granted Zimbabwe Approved Destination Status, which has seen an increasing number of tourists from the Asian country. The relationship between the two countries dates back to the liberation struggle.