Zimbabwe wriggles itself out of economic problems with China's support (2)

17:18, July 09, 2010      

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Addressing the 8th session of the Zimbabwe/China joint commission in Harare this week, Zimbabwean foreign minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said he hoped the cooperation would be extended to other areas of food production so that the country could quickly achieve food security and regain its bread basket status.

Zimbabwe has identified 20 projects for which it seeks Chinese assistance to develop, including construction of dams for irrigation and provision of potable water, power stations and a water pipeline linking the dry Matabeleland region in the south to the Zambezi River to the north.

A 45 million U.S. dollar loan agreement to support mobile phone operator NetOne's expansion program is already operational. Mumbengegwi also highlighted several other areas where cooperation between the two countries was possible, such as human resources development, science and technology research and exchanges, health, education, forestry, gender and public sector management and capacity building.

Chinese deputy minister of industry and commerce Jiang Zengwei, who led the Chinese delegation to the joint commission, said the economic development in his country and the global strategy of the Chinese government in recent years had spurred more Chinese companies to invest in resources development and exploration in Zimbabwe.

Jiang said by the end of 2009, China had cumulatively invested 100 million U.S. dollars in Zimbabwe, with the major projects including platinum, chrome and uranium mining and steel production.

In 2009, bilateral trade between the two countries stood at 297 million U.S. dollars, up by 5.6 percent from the previous year. From that China's exports were 156 million U.S. dollars and imports from Zimbabwe were 141 million U.S. dollars. In the first four months of 2010 bilateral trade stood at 224 million U.S. dollars, up by 125 percent year on year. From that China's imports from Zimbabwe already exceeded its exports to Zimbabwe of 125 million U.S. dollars by 90 percent year on year.

Jiang urged Zimbabwean authorities to continue to give the necessary support to Chinese companies so that joint cooperation between the two countries could be enhanced.

Source: Xinhua
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