‘Open for business’ mantra charms Saudi Arabia investors
Fungi Kwaramba recently in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
SAUDI companies have expressed keen interest in investing in the country’s financial, real estate, agricultural, ICT, mining and green energy sectors as Zimbabwe, under the leadership of President Mnangagwa opens new business frontiers.
The increased interest from several global players to invest in the country is a direct result of the “Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra whose main proponent is President Mnangagwa as well as inroads made in the re-engagement and engagement foreign policy.
Last week President Mnangagwa led a Zimbabwean delegation comprising the Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion Professor Mthuli Ncube, Lands and Agriculture Minister Dr Anxious Masuka, and Industry and Commerce Minister Stembiso Nyoni to the Saudi-Africa Summit where he outlined vast investment opportunities Zimbabwe offers.
After the Friday Summit, on Saturday, President Mnangagwa met the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Investment Minister Mr Kalid who was accompanied by executives of 10 companies from the oil-rich country.
In an interview, Zimbabwe’s Business Ambassador to the Middle East Mr Mahomed Jassat said Saudi companies have expressed interest in setting shop in Zimbabwe.
“The Saudi-Africa Summit is to ensure that countries from this region engage with all the countries in Africa to collaborate on a number of issues in a number of different sectors. For Zimbabwe we want to get the best part of investment that is available from the Saudi Arabian government.
“So we are very very fortunate enough that His Excellency Kalid who is the Minister of Investment paid a courtesy call on his Excellency last night (Saturday) and the minister is particularly involved in investment and is very very keen to ensure that they invest heavily in Zimbabwe in mining, agriculture and clean energy sectors,” he said.
Amb Jassat added that potential investors were impressed by President Mnangagwa’s presentation and are now eager to come to Harare.
“He was so impressed with the address by his Excellency last night (Saturday) that he felt it was very important to invite 10 companies to come and meet his Excellency this morning (yesterday). I can tell everybody back home that Saudi Arabia is going to start making large investments into Zimbabwe and we should all be very excited.”
In Saudi Arabia, President Mnangagwa opened up the doors to the potential investors who are particularly interested in venturing into Zimbabwe, including contracting local farmers in silage, meats and grain farming.
“The good thing about the meeting that we had now is we had one-on-one meetings with some of the largest companies in Saudi Arabia, for example, we had the CEO of Alrajhi bank. Obviously, they can assist us in terms of finance, they will invest in infrastructure projects, in agriculture they are going to ensure they work closely with your farmers to do contract farming.
“So there is going to be a lot of advantages not only for the Government of Zimbabwe but also for the people of Zimbabwe and I think that is very very important that this meeting was not only about Government and Government ideas but it was also focusing on the people,” he said.
Because of President Mnangagwa’s engagement efforts, Zimbabwe now has new trade partners with the United Arab Emirates, which is also in the Middle East, now one of the country’s chief trading partners.