Mukudzei Chingwere Herald Reporter
COMPANIES from the Republic of Serbia have been impressed by opportunities in Zimbabwe and are committed to investing in various sectors, their Honorary Consul to Zimbabwe, Dr Vivek Solanki, has said.
Dr Solanki noted that Zimbabwe was on the cusp of industrialisation and development which could see an influx of international capital and firms from his country seek to catch the fat worms ahead of competition riding on the good bilateral relations that exist between the two Republics.
He said the two countries enjoy excellent relations that date back to the liberation struggle, noting that there are locals who up to this date speak Serbian.
Dr Solanki said they were looking at bolstering trade relations in areas such as agriculture machinery, medical pharmaceuticals, mining machinery, defence mechanisation, and cultural exchange.
“In agriculture, we are looking at exports for Zimbabwean products like tobacco of course, fruits, vegetables, and other products to the Balkan states, and then from there, they can be redistributed around Europe.
“We are also looking at grain. Zimbabwe has been doing very well in maize recently and we are looking at exports of such products. Also, some of the mining commodities can be exported to Serbia,” said Dr Solanki.
He said the idea was to bolster the local manufacturing sector by bringing in machinery as well as plants to boost local industrialisation.
“We are looking at agriculture mechanisation, the small to medium size tractors, depending on what is required including irrigation equipment.
“The end product must be manufactured in Zimbabwe, we are not looking at importing things that can be manufactured here,” Dr Solanki said.
“New interests, we have tobacco firms that are interested in purchasing Zimbabwean tobacco. We have companies interested in opening up small energy power plants. They are looking at setting up seed-growing plants in Zimbabwe. Also to set up plants to assemble small tractors, medium-sized tractors.”
Dr Solanki said President Mnangagwa’s administration has succeeded in creating an investment-friendly destination that makes capital comfortable here and plans are afoot to invite a high level Serbian delegation here and vice versa.
“In the near future, we will set up bilateral visits of high-powered commercial enterprise representation in both directions.
“Zimbabwe is making great strides in encouraging private enterprises for bilateral trade with the world, and that has encouraged some of us as well to take the baton forward,” he said.