ACTING Chinese ambassador to Zimbabwe, Zhao Baogang says the southern African country can benefit immensely from his country’s Belt and Road Initiative if the two countries agree on how to unlock funds for the project.
Zimbabwe can benefit from the US$60 billion Chinese investment initiative in Africa if it comes up with projects with clear and specific timelines for infrastructural development.
Ambassador Zhao told ZTN after a tour of the country’s new parliament building under construction in Mt Hampden on Wednesday that China sees vast investment opportunities in various sectors of the Zimbabwean economy.
China is building the new parliament for Zimbabwe.
“We have this initiative to improve our relations and promote the co-operation between China and the countries on the Belt and Road programme.
Zimbabwe is also under the programme. During President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s visit to China last year, Zimbabwe and China signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.
On how this MOU can translate to tangible investments, Ambassador Zhao said: “If Zimbabwe has more policy coordination with the Chinese government, holding consultations with relevant ministries then cooperation in trade, finance, and tourism will be greatly enhanced.
The two countries agreed to upgrade their bilateral agreements to comprehensive strategic partnerships.
Ambassador Zhao added that China is ready to increase imports from Zimbabwe.
“We are willing to deepen our partnership with Zimbabwe to import more from Zimbabwe. “We also hope Zimbabwe can seize the opportunity of tourism. Every year, 1.4 billion Chinese nationals visit various destinations throughout the world.”
“It is sad that recent statistics show that only 19000 Chinese nationals visit Zimbabwe per year. Zimbabwe has very beautiful tourist attractions so we are looking forward to forming partnerships with the government in tourism and boost the economy through that sector,” Ambassador Zhao said.