Tawanda Musarurwa in BeijinG, China
Zimbabwe has made significant strides in improving the ease of doing business by eliminating policies and laws that hindered foreign capital inflows, President Emerson Mnangagwa has said.
He said this ahead of the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), which begins here today.
The President urged Zimbabweans to look beyond sanctions in rebuilding the economy although he said the re-engagement process would continue to win more friends.
President Mnangagwa and First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa arrived here yesterday and were welcomed at Beijing International Airport by Communist Party of China vice chairman of the People’s Political Consultative Conference of Beijing, Mr Lin Fusheng, and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo, who travelled ahead of the Presidential delegation.
Other delegates who welcomed the President include Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to China, Mr Paul Chikawa, Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Huang Ping and staff from the Zimbabwe embassy offices in Beijing.
In an interview with the media, President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe had made significant progress in improving its economic environment, with particular focus on eliminating laws and policies that were inimical to business.
“Critically important is to be transparent, to admit where policies in the past were constraining economic development and make legislative amendments to improve the environment in the economic sphere. For instance, we have the indigenisation law, which was constraining the flow of capital in the economy. We have already attended to that and the issue of the cost of doing business and the competitiveness of our country in attracting investment. We have done a lot in removing the archaic legislation that was constraining economic growth in our country,” said President Mnangagwa.
“I am satisfied that everyday we are improving our competitiveness in the region and internationally in terms of attracting investment into the country to grow our economy, modernise our economy.”
The President said Government would grow the economy despite sanctions that have been imposed on the country.
“If we bury our heads in the sand and say there are sanctions, we will always remain behind. To those who have put sanctions on us, we are extending our hand of friendship. We are saying let us re-engage, engage with those who have not engaged with us before and re-engage with those who have dis-enganged from us,” he said.
“And we say, what are the difficulties making us not to work together? Let us dialogue around those issues. But beyond that as Zimbabweans, we are saying what potential, what resources do we have so that we exploit those resources to grow our economy rather than say oh, let us cry to those who have imposed sanctions on us to remove them,” he said.
“Those who have imposed sanctions of us have their own reasons, so we are not going to sleep because some people have imposed sanctions on us. So we must ourselves do what we can without forgetting to appeal to those who yesterday were against us and ask them ‘is there any reasons anymore against us?’”
President Mnangagwa is expected to hold bilateral discussions with his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping, on the sidelines of the summit. Fifty-three heads of State and Government are expected to attend the summit.
The People’s Republic of China has committed to ushering in a new blueprint to explore opportunities for future mutual development, and to contribute to promoting world peace, stability and the development of Africa and China.