Zim-China Business Forum to explore opportunities
Kudzanai Sharara in Beijing, China
All is set for the three-day Zimbabwe-China Business Forum, which starts today in Beijing, China, to explore trade and investment opportunities between the two countries.
The business forum, scheduled for May 30 to June 1, 2023, and organised by national trade development and promotion agency, ZimTrade, is in line with the engagement and re-engagement drive being championed by President Mnangagwa’s administration.
It is also in line with the Second Republic’s economic diplomacy policy thrust underpinned by the “Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra.
Participants are expected to establish viable networks that will ensure Zimbabwean products find a place in existing and new markets in China.
The Asian giant is already Zimbabwe’s third-largest trading partner with tobacco leading the export earnings.
Zimbabwe, however, hopes to increase exports of value-added products such as processed foods, leather and leather products, and services as well as horticulture products.
The business forum will begin with a conference on the first day, followed by factory visits in different provinces and sectors in the following days.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Frederick Shava leads the Zimbabwe delegation which also includes business leaders from both the public and private sector.
In a previous interview, Minister Shava called on the business community to grab opportunities that are being facilitated by the government through its policy of affirmation, engagement, and re-engagement to increase its exports to China.
At the conference, participants are expected to hold wide-ranging discussions on a number of areas of interest.
Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to China Lt General (Rtd) Dr Martin Chedondo is expected to set the ball rolling with the welcome remarks. He will leave the podium to Minister Shava for his remarks before deputy director-general, Department of African Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China Mr Zhou Ping follows up with his own remarks setting the stage for panel discussions.
The first panel discussion will be on trade and investment opportunities between Zimbabwe and China and will see presentations from ZimTrade chief executive officer (CEO) Allan Majuru, Zimbabwe Investment Development Authority chief investment officer Ms Silibaziso Chizwina as well as Ms Xu Jinli deputy director general of the Department of Bilateral Cooperation, China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC-CCPIT Affiliate).
The presentations will be followed by panel discussions, with Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry and Commerce Dr Mavis Sibanda and Mr Farai Masendu from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe among the discussants.
The second panel of discussion will be on opportunities and challenges in the agriculture and mining sectors in Zimbabwe. Agriculture and Rural Development Authority CEO Tino Mhiko and Agriculture Marketing Authority CEO Clever Isaya alongside Ms Wang Yun, Good Farmers Ltd CEO, will be among the discussants.
The last panel discussion will be on opportunities and tourism development in Zimbabwe.
This will see presentations from Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive Ms Winnie Muchanyuka, and Mr Yang Jinsong, Chief of International Research Institute (China Tourism Academy) / Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Discussants will be Ms Monica Zheng, director Outbound Travel – (Africa and Middle East) China Tourism Group (CTG), World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF), Mr Tekle G Yohannes regional director Marketing, Sales and Services – Ethiopian Airlines, Mr Steve Ke Zhao, managing director Wild Africa Travel, Mr D Mavhembu from Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry.
To ensure that participating companies and business leaders maximise on the opportunity, ZimTrade has also organised factory visits to take place on Wednesday and Thursday.