Patrick Chitumba Midlands Bureau Chief
SANCTIONS imposed on Zimbabwe are not just illegal, but unjust and should be removed as they are causing underdevelopment and the suffering of innocent people.
Addressing delegates at the commissioning of the US$10 million brick and tile manufacturing plant at Sino Zimbabwe Cement Company (SZCC) on the outskirts of Gweru yesterday, Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Guo Shaochun said China, as an all-weather friend of Zimbabwe, will continue supporting the country so that it transforms into an upper middle-income economy by 2030.
“We hope that through our joint efforts, we will be able to provide more support for Zimbabwe to rebuild and restore its industry, achieve economic independence and alleviate the suffering of its people caused by illegal and unjust sanctions.
“In any case, it’s unfair to impose unilateral illegal sanctions against another country and its people. This is a typical practice of power politics,” he said.
Mr Guo said China was delighted to see that the Zimbabwe Government recently made a series of policy reforms to attract foreign investments.
“In the meantime, we expect the Zimbabwean Government to provide more facilities to foreign investments in the aspect of land use, tax exemption for imported equipment or spare parts for investment purposes and the arrangement of use of foreign currency.
“In recent years, investment cooperation between China and Zimbabwe has deepened continuously and we have seen the Kariba South hydro-power expansion project, Hwange Power Station expansion project, Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport expansion project and the new Parliament building together with many other major projects aided by China are playing a very important
role in helping Zimbabwe become an upper middle income economy by the year 2030,” he said.
Mr Guo said while promoting infrastructure construction of Zimbabwe under the guidance of China-Africa Cooperation’s eight major initiatives, China has been actively encouraging State owned enterprises and private enterprises to invest in African countries including Zimbabwe.
“For Zimbabwe, we encourage Chinese enterprises and capitals to invest more in manufacturing, agriculture, processing and light industries. These sectors are characterised by sustainability and moderate scale of investment which can quickly create jobs for local people and meet market demand of Zimbabwe while helping Zimbabwe to save or even earn foreign currency,” he said.
Mr Guo said China -Zimbabwe cooperation has been there for a long time adding that such relations have brought about close relationship cooperation in various areas and different levels which have been bringing tangible benefits to the people of both countries.
“Sino Zimbabwe relations have seen corporative and strategic partnership. It is the culmination of the friendship between our countries and our leaders,” he said.