IMPLEMENTATION of the mega deals signed between Zimbabwe and China last December is on course with teams from both countries working flat out to ensure their success, China’s top diplomat here has said.
Ambassador Huang Ping said Beijing was also working hard to source funding for the projects worth over $4 billion, that were signed between the two countries during President Xi Jinping’s State visit here in December last year.
He made the remarks after paying a courtesy call on Minister of Policy Co-ordination and Promotion of Socio-Economic Ventures in the President’s Office, Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo at his Munhumutapa offices in Harare yesterday.
“We talked about our good relationship and how to further strengthen this relationship and expand our cooperation,” said Ambassador Huang.
“We focused on how to implement the fruits of the State visit by President Mugabe to China and the recent State visit by President Xi Jinping which was followed by the FOCAC (Forum on China Africa Co-operation).
“Mega deals were signed and witnessed by the two Presidents when President Xi Jinping came to Harare. At FOCAC President Xi Jinping made an announcement that China is going to invest $60 billion in the next three years. So those are the things I think we need to work together to implement.”
Ambassador Huang said China was committed to see implementation of the deals soon, adding that his country was in the process of sourcing funds for the various projects. He said it was important for Harare and Beijing to work hand in glove to ensure successful implementation of the deals.
“We are working from both sides, different departments of China are also very busy with the coordination. The two sides must work together to make sure the implementation will go smoothly.
“We are working very hard. The deals are signed, we have to find the funding, the financial support to make the goal.
“There are more than 10 deals signed and more are going to come. I am not sure which one will get the first. But we are working very hard to make sure they are in good shape and once we feel it’s okay, then we will start,” said Ambassador Huang.
Zimbabwe and China sealed landmark deals worth more than $4 billion when President Mugabe paid a State visit to the Asian country in 2014.
President Xi paid a reciprocal State visit to Zimbabwe last year, where he witnessed the signing of 12 deals together with President Mugabe.
The deals will convert provisions of the Government’s economic blueprint, Zim-Asset, into programmes of action.
The two nations signed 12 investment agreements covering different sectors of the economy. The deals include financing for the expansion of Hwange Thermal Power Station, construction of the new Parliament building and a pharmaceutical warehouse, expansion of a national fibre optic broadband project and provision of wildlife monitoring equipment among others.
Other deals are in infrastructure development in the areas of railways and roads. China is now the largest source of investment in Zimbabwe and in 2013, the Asian giant invested $602 million.
The Asian economic giant has become one of the major trade partners of Zimbabwe and from 2010 to 2014, the average annual growth rate of bilateral trade was 22 percent.