via US envoy to look into Zim Asset – DailyNews Live by Nyasha Ghingono 21 DECEMBER 2013
US Ambassador to Zimbabwe Bruce Wharton says his embassy will look into the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (Zim Asset) to establish whether it is compatible with its foreign economic policies.
Speaking in Bulawayo recently at the US corner located at the Public Library, Wharton admitted that he only read the synopsis of the economic blueprint and needed finer details to align US programmes to the new document.
“I have not had a chance to read the Zim Asset document carefully. I have only seen the synopsis and have not been able to analyse it to the extent that it represents clear, predictable, transparent economic policies,” Wharton said.
Zim Asset is an economic blueprint crafted by the Zanu PF government based on its election campaign manifesto and is touted to change the country’s economic downturn in the next five years.
Wharton told journalists that the document should prioritise the restoration of investor confidence and establish Zimbabwe as a safe investment destination.
The US envoy said his embassy was committed to supporting government under Zim Asset on condition that the policies dovetail with US foreign policy.
“As soon as I get a good look at the Zim Asset plan, we will take a look at our programmes to see how we can support the elements of that plan that represents shared concerns,” Wharton said.
He said the US was committed to engaging Zimbabwe on issues of economic development.
The two countries have not enjoyed good relations over the past decade due to divergent social and economic policies.
“We are not going to agree on all things, but I think that part of the course. But we will continue to work on issues which we have mutual interests, such as health, education and youth development,” the US envoy said.
Zim Asset is one of many economic policies that have been crafted since independence in 1980, but implementation has been a stumbling block for government.
Wharton revealed that the US was the largest contributor to tourism in Zimbabwe and the world over, creating 100 million jobs in an industry valued at $2 trillion.
He attributed the growing number of visits to the good immaculate resort areas that Zimbabwe has.
His visit to Bulawayo was on the side lines of a youth engagement programme between Botswana and Zimbabwean youths.
Issues debated during the programme relate to health, conservation, environment and gender-based violence.