HARARE – China has the potential to finance Zimbabwe’s re-industrialisation strategy following a significant increase in trade between the two countries, economic analysts have said.
This comes as China’s commercial success has been largely interpreted as the result of economic and political reforms resulting in the country being the second largest economy after the United States of America.
“First, a key lesson from China’s experience is the adoption of a pragmatic approach to economic reforms and the adaptive capacity of the country’s economic agents to the process of development,” Ithel Mavesere, a University of Zimbabwe economics lecturer, told delegates attending the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries workshop on Zimbabwe-China partnership.
The CZI workshop was focusing on how the country can leverage on the Zimbabwe-China partnership for re-industrialisation.
Mavesere also said a sound industrial policy has been the heart of development policies and strategies in developing countries and China has five-year development plans that have contributed to its economic growth.
China has accumulated foreign-exchange reserves in excess of $3 trillion because of trade surpluses over the years. These surpluses allow for outward overseas direct investment and in Africa countries such as Nigeria and Zambia have benefitted more.
“For Zimbabwe to industrialise there is need for industrial partnership and industrial capacity co-operation between the two countries, with China committing to facilitate Chinese private investment, provide technical assistance and training and technology transfer,” Mavesere said.
The provision of loans was agreed upon as another way of industrialising Zimbabwe but Mavesere also urged government to be inward looking and mobilise its own resources for development and industrialisation.
China’s acting ambassador to Zimbabwe Zhao Baogang said China was aware of the urgent need for industrialisation in Zimbabwe and was actively encouraging Chinese investors to look at Zimbabwe.
He said for China to achieve success, the Asian economic giant undertook deliberate reform measures and implemented policies, through its strong political leadership, which resulted in the country being at the top of the global economy.
Luyolo Sijake, a visiting scholar at Peking University, recently said African countries should tap into China’s technologies to advance the continent’s industrialisation agenda.
“As Africa’s largest trading partner, China has an important role to play in supporting the African economies in these endeavours, because e-commerce companies such as Alibaba can facilitate Africa’s growth and economic expansion. For example, they can increase the access between the two markets and make their exchanges more effective,” Sijake added.