SADC Summit expected to attract 300 investors Speaking during a recent visit to TIM as part of an industrialisation benchmarking exercise he is leading, Industry and Commerce Permanent Secretary, Dr Thomas Utete Wushe, said there was now a focus on Türkiye as part of a wider strategy to diversify Zimbabwe’s export markets.

Wallace Ruzvidzo-Herald Reporter

SADC engagements, that Zimbabwe will host, beginning with the bloc’s Industrialisation Week then the 44th SADC Summit of Heads of State, will attract business investors from across the world.

A SADC Investment Conference will be held on July 29 and will provide a platform for local and international investors to explore potential investment opportunities within Zimbabwe and the region at large.

At least 150 companies are expected to be in the country during that period, with at least 300 participants from the private sector as well as other stakeholders from the public sector, the academia and development partners.

There will also be a dedicated pavilion for regional investment promotion agencies from the SADC member states.

Agro-processing, mineral beneficiation, pharmaceutical, financial, consumer, capital goods and infrastructure sectors will be the most targeted.

President Mnangagwa will officially open the SADC Industrialisation Week (SIW) on July 31.

During the SADC Summit, the President will also take his fellow Heads of State and Government on a tour of the Geo Pomona Waste Management operations in Harare, open the SADC Liberation Square at the Museum of African Liberation and deliver a public lecture at the University of Zimbabwe.

The President’s public lecture will be titled: “Building research capacity and innovation ecosystems for a sustainable industrialised SADC economy.”

Industry and Commerce Permanent Secretary, Dr Thomas Utete Wushe, said such regional engagements set the tone for development aid interactions for Zimbabwe and the region at large.

“ . . .  the Investment Conference serves as an avenue for networking and establishing strategic partnerships with organisations such as the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) and other invited participants.

“Moreso, the event provides a platform to showcase long-term projects that have a transformative impact on the region’s infrastructure and connectivity.

“One such project is the proposed Beira-Mutare- Harare-Bulawayo-Francistown-Walvis Bay High-Speed Railway, which will serve as coast-to-coast Beira-Walvis Bay Railway,” he said.

Dr Utete Wushe said the SADC bloc and its respective member states were primed for unprecedented industrialisation levels but this could only be achieved through maintaining a united front.

“The SIW will draw participation from all SADC member States and members of the public; key stakeholders in the private sector, strategic and cooperating partners, academia, research and technology institutions among others,” he said.

Angolan Ambassador to Zimbabwe Agostinho Tavares da Silva Neto, who is also the Dean of SADC Ambassadors, said the regional bloc would unite to make the SADC Summit a success.

Angola is the outgoing Chair of the regional bloc.

“We will collaborate as always and for us we will do it anytime for the success of the SADC Industrialisation Week. We are ready to cooperate with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce as always,” he said.

Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries chief executive officer, Ms Sekai Kuvarika, said such events would attract much needed investments in Zimbabwe and the rest of the region.

“Spotlighting investment promotion through the SADC Industrialisation Week is one of the great initiatives that the private sector is looking forward to.

“It is critical for business to actively participate in the week.

“The policy itself needs to be translated to business and to dollars and cents so we are committed to ensure that the strategy eventually finds its existence and can be counted in dollars and cents across the region,” she said.

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