Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
A 13-member high-powered delegation from the Chinese government arrived in Harare yesterday to prepare for the implementation of deals signed by President Mugabe during his State visit to China last year. The delegation from the International Co-operation Centre of the National Development Reform and Commission of China (ICC-NDRC) which is being led by its director Dr Cao Wenlian is on a four-day visit.
The ICC-NDRC is a super Cabinet Committee of the Chinese Government.
The delegation will gather information on Zimbabwe’s economic situation with a view to formulating programme and project proposals for the Government to realise the full implementation of Zim-Asset.
Soon after his arrival, Dr Cao and his delegation toured the Morton Jaffray Waterworks where the China Exim Bank injected US$144 million for the rehabilitation of water infrastructure.
Dr Cao was accompanied by the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda, and his deputy, Retired Colonel Christian Katsande, and Harare’s Town Clerk, Dr Tendai Mahachi, to Morton Jaffray.
Speaking to journalists after the tour, Dr Sibanda said the visit was initiated by the Office of the President and Cabinet during President Mugabe’s visit to China.
He said they wanted the ICC-NDRC to have a better understanding of Zimbabwe’s reform implementation programme of Zim-Asset.
“This visit by the 13-member delegation from the National Reform and Development Commission of China, which is the high level policy formulation on the reform agenda of China, comes in the wake of His Excellency the President’s State visit to the People’s Republic of China in August2014,” said Dr Sibanda.
“At that historic moment particular we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Reform and Development Commission Of China as Office of the President and Cabinet and we agreed that we are going to invite them so that they can have on-the-spot analysis of our reform implementation programme of the Zim-Asset and this is why they have come.”
Dr Sibanda said they would brief the Chinese delegation on the progress they have made in the implementation of Zim-Asset and the challenges they were facing.
In exchange, Dr Sibanda said, the Chinese would share their experiences relating to how they have managed to become the second largest economy in the world with a possibility of overtaking the United States in the next few years.
“This essentially a consultative workshop and they will listen first of all from us,” he said.
“We will be telling them how we have moved with the implementation of Zim-Asset and what we intend to accelerate the process of implementation, the constraints we are facing, how we are addressing them, how we can learn from the Chinese experience.
“We will give them an opportunity of giving us a rendition of how they moved in the developmental trajectory of their country to a position now that they are second in terms of economic development to the US and with a possibility that actually they can be number one in the world.
“They will be telling us areas of special interest zones, special economic development zones they have established in China, how they mobilised their resources, how they reformed their State enterprises from loss making to more productive entities which are not only able to invest in China but which are also investing outside.”
In a statement yesterday, Rtd Col Katsande said the purpose of the visit by the Chinese delegation was to discuss several areas of economic co-operation.
“Its main objective during this visit is to discuss a range of economic development issues affecting Zimbabwe, with a view to proffering solutions on the back of the experience of the Chinese . . .
“The broad areas of co-operation between the Government of Zimbabwe and NDRC include exchange of experiences and knowledge covering the formulation of five year development plans, reform of State-owned enterprises, establishment of Special Economic Zones and promotion for the growth of small to medium enterprises, promotion of strategic economic policy research, planning, co-ordination, monitoring and evaluation of Government policies and programmes.”
During the tour of the Morton Jaffray Waterworks, Dr Mahachi gave a presentation on how they were utilising the US$144 million China Exim loan.
He said by June 2016 they expected to improve response time from 72 hours to 24 hours and eliminate plant hire charges as well as improve water quality monitoring.
During President Mugabe’s visit to China last year, Zimbabwe and China signed nine mega deals in various fields of economic develop- ment.