More countries pledge to increase trade with Zim Ambassador Fahri

Fungi Kwaramba-Political Editor

PRESIDENT Mnangagwa’s engagement and re-engagement policy, premised on trade and investment, continues to bear fruit as more countries come on board pledging their businesses’ commitment to invest in the country.

Yesterday, four incoming Ambassadors presented, separately, their letters of credence to President Mnangagwa at State House in Harare, and their message as they departed his offices was the same – “increasing trade and investment with Zimbabwe”.

This is one of the clearest signs of the success of the engagement and re-engagement policy, which also comes along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs charged with the added responsibility of International Trade.

Each Ambassador designate, after a tête-à-tête with the President, was optimistic about the country’s future saying it is not only anchored on clear policies but also that there are resources to match the vision.

New Singapore Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Zainal Arif Mantaha said there is a lot of potential for growth in the relations between the two countries.

Ambassador Mantaha

“We went through 35 years of friendship between our two countries and peoples. We had a good exchange about what went on before and what we need to do for the future. I am going to do my utmost with my team to realise the potential for more growth and development in terms of our bilateral relations, at government level, at the business level, as well as people to people. 

“Singapore businesses are always looking for investment opportunities, if there are good opportunities in areas where we have the expertise, they will be there. My job is to make sure that information about Zimbabwe which goes beyond what is covered in the media goes to Singapore to help identify opportunities for co-operation that is mutually beneficial,” he said.

Ms Ofra Fahri, the incoming Israeli envoy to Zimbabwe, said she will be building on the already existing good relations between the two countries to deepen trade and investment.

“We have very good relations between the two countries, (with the President) we were talking about bilateral co-operation, about Israeli technologies, about Israel’s capacity to co-operate with Zimbabwe in order to improve the quality of life of Zimbabweans . . . we are really looking forward to how we can enhance the relations,” she said.

Vietnam, one of the world’s fastest-growing economies with a GDP of US$271 billion, was also represented by its new Ambassador, Mr Hoang Van Loi, who said his country is ready to take part in the country’s economic development.

Ambassador Loi

“Vietnam has a strong history struggling for independence. We are a developing nation and have relations with all world nations including those in the (United Nations) Security Council. Our policy is to make friends with all nations for the benefit of the world’s population. 

“We discussed further strengthening relations between the two countries. We have a firm and good political relationship that dates back to supporting each other in the struggle for independence. 

“Now the President is talking about how to strengthen the relationship, especially in the field of trade, investment and economic development. Zimbabwe has a lot of potential in agriculture and mining and one of my major tasks will be to strengthen relations with Zimbabwe, especially in trade and economic investment.”

On his part, Mr Murad Baseer, the new Pakistani Ambassador to Zimbabwe, also echoed similar sentiments.  

Ambassador Baseer

“I would like to revive our relations and take them to the next level and I am very excited to be in this country and look forward to future co-operation in trade and commerce and other relevant fields. I am glad that the President gave his full cooperation and I am optimistic we will have fruitful results in various sectors, especially trade and commerce.”

Engagement and re-engagement with all countries is at the core of the Second Republic’s Foreign Policy, and it focuses on maximising economic value for the country under President Mnangagwa’s mantra, “Zimbabwe is Open for Business”.

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