Belarus commits to widen Zim support

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

Belarus commits to widen Zim support 
Minister Bartosh

Farirai Machivenyika

Senior Reporter

Belarus is committed to assisting Zimbabwe in its endeavour to develop its agricultural and industrial sectors for the benefit of the country, the Eastern European country’s Minister of Agriculture and Food, Mr Sergei Bartosh, has said.

Minister Bartosh said this on Thursday during a reception hosted by Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Belarus, Ignatius Mudzimba, to mark the country’s 44th Independence anniversary. 

He was guest of honour during the celebrations.

Minister Bartosh also acknowledged the progress that Zimbabwe has made since its attainment of independence.

“Over the years of its independence, Zimbabwe has made significant strides towards a just, free and equal society; the creation of an independent nation which plays an important role in the Southern African region,” he said. 

“The crucial factor for maintaining sovereignty and the key to a decent standard of living for the citizens is the creation of a solid economic base. Therefore, the Republic of Belarus endeavours to provide maximum assistance to the improvement and development of Zimbabwean industry and agriculture. 

“I am proud to highlight that bilateral cooperation between Belarus and Zimbabwe keeps developing intensively. Our cooperation is based on trust-based relations between the leaders of our States and a mutually beneficial partnership based on honest and time-tested relations.”

Minister Bartosh said there has been a significant increase in contacts between Belarus and Zimbabwe at a wide range of levels, including the highest ones. 

The official visit of Belarus President Aleksander Lukashenko to Harare early last year, has become evidence of the aspiration of the two leaders to build strong political, trade and economic ties. 

Minister Bartosh said a lot has already been done to bring the friendly relations between Presidents Mnangagwa and Lukashenko into practical implementation of the bilateral agreements.

Trade turnover between Belarus and Zimbabwe was actively developing and has increased eight times since 2018, while the two countries were implementing long-term investment projects in agriculture, light industry, mining, healthcare and industrial cooperation, he said.

The two phases of the Belarus Mechanisation Facility, which have already delivered more than 2 000 units of various Belarusian agricultural machinery, have been implemented. 

Added Minister Bartosh: “This year, we are planning to start the Third Phase of the Programme, which envisages the supply of over 3 000 more tractors and combine (harvester)s to Zimbabwe, as well as the construction of new and improvement of the existing silos to ensure the country’s food security.”

In his remarks, Ambassador Mudzimba narrated the country’s history from the days of its struggle for independence and its ongoing developmental thrust.

“As we reflect on our past achievements and celebrate our present successes, we continue to look towards the future with optimism and determination,” said Ambassador Mudzimba. 

“Together with our friends in Belarus and around the world, we can work towards building a better tomorrow for generations to come. President Mnangagwa’s foreign policy that Zimbabwe is a friend to all and enemy to none. 

“This is why we have heightened our efforts towards engagement and re-engagement. Our economic policy is anchored on the Second Republic mantra that ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ as a strategy to attract foreign direct investment from all corners of the world.”

 Ambassador Mudzimba invited both local and international investors, traders and business entities to explore and engage in various opportunities within the country. 

“In that regard, some of the key investment opportunities that Zimbabwe has to offer to our friends in Belarus and around the world include agriculture, mining, tourism and infrastructure development among others,” he said.