Zim to upscale investment, trade relations President Mnangagwa congratulates the Kingdom of Denmark’s incoming Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mrs Elsebeth Sondergaard Krone, after she presented her letters of credence at State House in Harare yesterday. — Picture: Believe Nyakudjara.

Blessings Chidakwa-Herald Reporter

New ambassadors from Serbia and Denmark plus the new pro-nuncio, the equivalent of an ambassador, from the Holy See, handed over their credentials to President Mnangagwa yesterday, pledging to help boost investment and trade, particularly in mining, agriculture and energy.

The Second Republic’s stance of being a friend to all and an enemy to none saw Serbia re-opening its embassy in Harare two years ago .

Denmark has previously twice closed its embassy in Zimbabwe, in 2002 at the height of the land reforms and in 2017 to focus on what it called emerging markets.

The new Danish Ambassador assumes duty at a  time Zimbabwe has been nominated to host the Nordic-Africa summit next year. 

The summit is a major diplomatic victory as it signifies the vote of confidence in the country’s potential and leadership by the global community, analysts have said.

The hosting of the Nordic-Africa summit by Zimbabwe was unthinkable in the recent past but President Mnangagwa’s re-engagement and engagement drive is now opening hitherto locked doors, as the international community warms up to his leadership.

The Holy See is the central government of the Catholic Church, with territorial sovereignty over the Vatican City in central Rome, but able to accredit diplomats around the world with the dual function of normal secular diplomatic relations with the host country and a second function of linking the local Catholic hierarchy with the Pope.

First to present credentials was Serbian Ambassador Radisa Grujic, followed by Pro-Nuncio Archbishop Janusz Stanislaw Urbanczyk of the Holy See and finally Ambassador Mrs Elsebeth Sondergaard Krone from Denmark.

The President shares a lighter moment with the incoming Serbian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Radisa Grujic, after receiving his credentials at State House yesterday. Pictures: Believe Nyakudjara.

Ambassador Grujic said following the reopening of the Serbian embassy in Harare two years ago, they want to continue cementing relations with Zimbabwe for the benefit of both nations.

“Our main focus will be to preserve, to work on preservation of national interests of  both countries, and to be focused on the economic issues especially areas such as agriculture, and then some export and import of goods from both countries. Also, to invest a little more in cooperation in mining and energy. 

“I think that in the future we will go much broader and deepen in all fields of cooperation. And we are already supporting the Republic of Zimbabwe with some kind of scholarship for students,” he said.

Ambassador Grujic said pre- and post-independence Serbia is one of the most important economic and trade partners of Zimbabwe.

Pro-Nuncio Archbishop Stanislaw Urbanczyk promised to enhance the already good relations, saying as the Catholic Church, they look and work through their organisation based in Zimbabwe.

President Mnangagwa receives credentials from the Vatican (Holy See) incoming Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Archbishop Janusz Stanislaw Urbañczyk, at State House in Harare yesterday, while Foreign Affairs and International Trade Permanent Secretary Ambassador Albert Chimbindi (second from left) looks on.

“We have the Catholic dioceses and they have different projects. So, we will be working closely with them in order to address some of those needs. But they will be addressed on the ground by the bishops, by the religious congregations, through the schools, through the health sector and through the other projects, but through the local church,” he said.

The Holy See is organising the Jubilee Year next year, which will be a special one of hope. 

“So the preparation for us, for the Catholic Church, but for the entire world, is to rediscover the importance for hope and giving signs for hope for many people, for the situation of the people living in difficulty, sometimes circumstances, situations of life. This is to give a sign of hope for the better future.” 

The Holy See would be looking at how to assist Zimbabwe over the El-Nino-induced drought. This would be tabled at the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference.

Ambassador Sondergaard pledged to further strengthen relations, in terms of investment and trade, between Denmark and Zimbabwe. 

“Some of the areas that Denmark has very good companies and very good experience in is the area of agriculture and energy and the environment. So those are some of the areas that I will focus on together with the Zimbabwe counterparts,” she said. 

Acting Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Professor Amon Murwira and the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Ambassador Ranganai Chimbindi, attended the handing over and acceptance of the credentials.

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