ZITF is of great importance: China
Wallace Ruzvidzo in BULAWAYO
CHINA and Chinese businesses attache great importance to the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair and are impressed by the business opportunities presented to its companies at this year’s fair, a senior Chinese diplomat has said.
The ZITF ends today with many Chinese companies having exhibited and others having come to scout for business opportunities.
In an interview on the sidelines of the fair yesterday, the Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe’s economic and commercial counsellor, Mr Huang Minghai, told The Herald that China was looking forward to increased business co-operation with Zimbabwe.
“The Zimbabwe International Trade Fair is one of the most famous and significant exhibitions in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa. I am very pleased to see many Chinese companies, including manufacturers and traders in Zimbabwe, are attending the Fair.
“The products they exhibit include not only products made in Zimbabwe, such as cement, textiles, bricks, but also products imported from China, such as laptops, speakers, LCD TV sets, electric cars, trucks, machinery, tyres, chemicals,” he said.
More Chinese firms would participate at next year’s fair, as economic ties between the two countries go to the next level. Chinese companies attending the trade fair had also been scouting for products to export back home.
“China and Zimbabwe have broad prospects for bilateral trade and economic co-operation. We look forward to strengthening trade and investment co-operation between the two countries. I think there will be more Chinese companies participating at the ZITF next year”.
With China as Zimbabwe’s third largest trading partner, Mr Huang said trade between Zimbabwe and China was set to surpass last year’s figures, on account of the recently signed protocol on the export of citrus produce to China.
“In 2022, the total trade volume between the two countries reached US$2,43 billion, a record high, with a year-on-year increase of 29,2 percent, of which China imported US$1,3 billion from Zimbabwe, and China exported US$1,13 billion to Zimbabwe, and Zimbabwe had a trade surplus US$170 million against China.
“China is the largest buyer of Zimbabwe tobacco, and half of Zimbabwe’s tobacco production is exported to China,” he said.
Speaking of Chinese investors in Zimbabwe, Mr Huang noted: “Some of them have exhibited their products at the ZITF, and some projects are still under construction.
For example, the Dinson Iron and Steel plant is expected to be commissioned by the end of this year and will exhibit at the ZITF next year.”
Zimtile managing director Mr Godwin Gu said the ZITF had provided the company with an opportunity to reach out to potential customers.
“This fair is very exciting and presents us with a big opportunity to showcase our products,” he said.
ST-One Machinery’s assistant general manager, Mr Finger, said Zimbabwe had a conducive business environment and the ZITF was testament to the assertion.
“Zimbabwe is a very peaceful country unlike other countries I have done business in and it is a good environment for business. The ZITF is a very good fair and we are very happy,” he said.
Managing director of Chinese-owned Jacaranda Textiles, Dr Angelina Nyatanga, said the ZITF had proven successful for the textiles company.