A host of British business leaders, including Sir Richard Branson, the creator of the Virgin brand, and Martin Sorrell, the chief executive of WPP, yesterday met Morgan Tsvangirai, the prime minister of Zimbabwe, to explore the possibility of private investment into the troubled country.
By Rupert NeatePublished: 9:22PM BST 20 Jun 2009
Mr Tsvangirai told the meeting, chaired by David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, that Zimbabwe has made substantial progress towards rebuilding the economy and is actively seeking investment from multinational companies.
"Over the last few decades Zimbabwe has radically changed, but the people, natural resources and some of the basic infrastructure are still in place and ready to be invested in once again," Mr Tsvangirai said. "We have a real chance to turn Zimbabwe into a success story in partnership with the international community".
Mr Tsvangirai said the country has brought inflation down from 500bn pc to just 3pc in the four months since he formed a coalition government with Robert Mugabe.
Sir Richard said: "Zimbabwe is at a critical turning point and needs the support of the global community. This isn't just a job for aid organisations, and governments. There is a lot business can do to help bring humanitarian support and inspire investment."
Other business leaders at the meeting included James Hussey, of De La Rue, Ian Farmer, of Lonmin, and Dr Nicholas Blazquez, of Diageo.