Wednesday, February 2, 2011

China to pump in US$10bn into Zimbabwe's economy

By: MW-Reuters-TZG
Posted: Wednesday, February 2, 2011 12:54 am

CHINA Development Bank is poised to fund up to US$10 billion in Chinese investment in the Zimbabwean mining and agriculture sectors ‒ a significant boost for a country struggling to attract foreign investors.

President Robert Mugabe adopted a 'Look East Policy' after the west imposed illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe.
He has increasingly looked for help from China, which in turn is in search of natural resources for its rapidly expanding economy.
“We have met with officials from China Development Bank and they have said they are willing to invest up to US$10 billion in Zimbabwe," economic planning and investment promotion minister Tapiwa Mashakada told Reuters on the sidelines of a business conferencein Harare, Zimbabwe.

Such an investment would dwarf Zimbabwe's gross domestic product (GDP), which is expected to be about US$6 billion this year.
No immediate comment was available from the Chinese embassy in Harare.
Mashakada told the conference he saw gold production hitting 13t in 2011, up from 8.3t in 2010.

He also expected Zimbabwe to produce about 1.5Mt of maize in 2011, up from 1.3 million a year before. Zimbabwe also has the world's second largest platinum reserves after South Africa.

“China is looking into mining development, as well as agriculture, infrastructure development and information communication technology,” said Mashakada, a minister from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change party. He would not say if the investment would come this year.
China's investment in Zimbabwe has been growing steadily over the last decade.
“The Chinese are now moving towards strict due diligence, accountability and transparency.
"At the end of the day this really depends on us, and how we position ourselves as a destination for investment,” said Mashakada. “China is coming in a very big way.”

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