ZIMBABWE is expected to benefit from a $40 billion investment package to be given to several African countries by China during the 6th ministerial conference of the forum on China-Africa Cooperation (Focac), to be held in South Africa this year.
BY TARISAI MANDIZHA
This was revealed by journalists Fadreque Alvarez deToledo and Baiba Petrusevica from the Global Times in an interview with The Standard.
The two are currently in the country to cover the project and have met with several government officials, including Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa over the issue.
The journalists have been commissioned to write about Zimbabwe and its potential to benefit from the $40 billion Focac fund.
An attaché with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, Min Rui, said yesterday that she was aware of the Focac conference but said she could only provide official comment on the fund next week.
The journalists said the outcome of Focac would guide China’s pro-African policy and China would announce its investment in Africa for the next three years, which has doubled after every Focac meeting and was expected to reach $40 billion.
“A 12-page document specially dedicated to Zimbabwe will be published a few days ahead of Focac in the China National Daily and the Global Times.
“This important publication is meant to raise Zimbabwe’s diplomatic profile amongst Chinese officials, and engage investors into the economic agenda of Zimbabwe, as well as to serve as an investors’ roadmap leading up to this important event,” Petrusevica revealed.
The Asian giant, China, has become Zimbabwe’s biggest trade partner with trade between the two countries peaking to nearly $1,2 billion between January and November last year compared to $1,1 billion for the whole of 2013.
In August 2014, Mugabe and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping signed various deals worth billions of dollars, mostly focusing on infrastructure.
According to Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) statistics published in the China Daily, the Asian giant remained Zimbabwe’s largest investor during the first five months of 2015, accounting for 74% of the
$134 million of the foreign direct investments pouring into the country.
In 2014 ZIA approved $929 million of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects, among which 72% was from China.
The Chinese government and private sector have also been seeking additional insights into the potential that Zimbabwe holds, and Zimbabwe is also positioning itself to attract a larger amount than at previous forums.
This year will also mark the establishment of China-Zimbabwe diplomatic relations, as well as Zimbabwe’s leadership in the African Union, which will then end with the 6th ministerial conference of Focac.
Apart from gaining a foothold in Zimbabwe’s retail, mining and agriculture sectors, China invested hundreds of millions of dollars into Zimbabwe’s infrastructural projects, notably a $144 million water system upgrade for the capital Harare and the addition of 300 megawatts to the 750MW Kariba hydropower station.