Zim, India to bolster ties
Ivan Zhakata-Herald Correspondent
AS he toasted to India’s 75 years of self-rule President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe and India will continue to strengthen ties for the mutual benefit of the two nations’ people.
India, marked 75 years of independence yesterday, and Zimbabwe, which is following the engagement and re-engagement foreign policy laid by President Mnangagwa, joined the Asian country in celebrating its independence.
Over the years, Zimbabwe and India have strengthened ties, most markedly in the pharmaceutical and energy sector where it is funding the US$48,1 million upgrade that is critical in the provision of adequate water for the Hwange Thermal Power Station.
Last week, during the commemorations of Zimbabwe Defence Forces Day, President Mnangagwa hailed India for continued cooperation with the military through training exchange programmes.
Writing on his Twitter handle, the President said he looked forward to deepening the bilateral relations between Zimbabwe and India.
“My warmest wishes to the people of India as they celebrate 75 years of independence today. I look forward to strengthening the bond between our two great nations with Narendra Modi (Indian Prime Minister) over the coming years. India, the people of Zimbabwe stand with you,” President Mnangagwa said. In an interview on the sidelines of India’s 75th independence day celebrations held at India House in Harare, Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce Raj Moji said trade relations between the two countries were stronger.
“The relationship between Zimbabwe and India dates from way back during the Munhumutapa time. We have been very close partners in trading since the 16th century and up to now, we are still good friends. We have a lot of trading which is happening between the two countries.
“Most of the pharmaceuticals and about 80 percent of medicine in Zimbabwe comes from India. Last year we received a grant from India which shows that we have a good relationship and we need to make it stronger.”
President of India Droupadi Murmu in his speech read on his behalf by the Indian ambassador Vijay Khanduja said India’s new found confidence stems from the spirit of its youth and farmers.
He said the world has seen a new India rising in recent years, more so after the outbreak of Covid-19.
“Our response to the pandemic has been appreciated everywhere. We launched the biggest vaccination drive in human history with vaccines manufactured in the country itself.
“Last month we crossed the 200-mark in cumulative vaccine coverage in combating the pandemic and our achievements have been better than those of many developed countries. For this feat, we are grateful to our scientists, doctors, nurses, paramedics, and the staff associated with vaccination.”
Mr Murmu said the pandemic uprooted lives and also economies in the entire world and when the world was battling the consequences of the great crisis, India got its act together and was moving forward.
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“India is among the fastest growing major economies in the world. India’s start-up ecosystem ranks high in the world.
“The success of start-ups in our country, especially the growing number of unicorns is a shining example of our industrial progress. The government and policy-makers deserve credit for beating the global trend and helping the economy flourish.”