Zimbabwe claims that its participation in the UAE’s Expo 2020 has resulted in a significant rise in enquiries regarding investment opportunities.
Friday saw Zimbabwe’s Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga address attendees at the 2022 International Business Conference (IBC), which took place alongside the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair which concluded on April 30.
The importance of Expo 2020
According to Chiwenga, Zimbabwe’s participation in Expo 2020 resulted in millions of dollars in business deals across a number of sectors and a large number of expressions of interest.
Expo 2020 ran for six months and ended on March 31, 2022. The importance of Zimbabwe’s relationship with the UAE was recently highlighted when the UAE became Zimbabwe’s second largest trading partner after South Africa, with annual trade gains estimated at about USD 1.5 billion in favor of Zimbabwe.
President Mnangagwa was present at the Expo in March and met a series of business delegations including members of the Zimbabwean diaspora.
Encouraging investment in Zimbabwe
Chiwenga said that government ministers and representatives of the private sector had worked together to position Zimbabwe as a destination for foreign investment, “”At this forum, we managed to sell the Zimbabwe brand by presenting the investment opportunities that are abound in the agriculture, mining, infrastructure development, manufacturing, tourism, ICTs and financial services sectors,” he said. “Following that attendance, we are already receiving a significant number of investment enquiries in different sectors of the economy.” The Zimbabwe pavilion at Expo 2020 showed the country’s products and services in the Opportunities Cluster alongside 191 other states.
Zimbabwe Pavilion Commissioner-General, Ambassador Mary Mubi, said “The objective was to get the interest of investors and also trade, increasing our trade volumes with respect to our products. We participated under the Opportunities Cluster because we were very much aware the country has huge potential and incredible opportunities in various sectors.”
Zimbabwe’s participation in Expo 2020 comes at a time when the government is working to implement business-friendly policies and to increase the ease of doing business. The reforms are designed to encourage domestic and foreign investment within the country.
Chiwenga went on to highlight the “revival” of the Zimbabwe Iron and Steel Company (Zisco), which feeds into a number of downstream industries, as well as the construction of one of Africa’s biggest steel plants in Mvuma. “The investors are confident of finishing the first phase of the program within the next two years. The establishment of the steel company will result in the creation of over 6 000 direct jobs, a huge benefit to the economy,” Chiwenga said.
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