Blessings Chidakwa Municipal Reporter
Reforms being undertaken by Zimbabwe are aimed at increasing national economic competitiveness, productivity, foreign direct investment inflows, technology transfers and acquaintance with Chinese business models, a top Government official said yesterday.
Deputy Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet Ambassador Nicholas Kitikiti was speaking during a five-day Zimbabwe-China Economic Reform and Transformation Video Training Workshop that started yesterday.
He said the reforms being undertaken by the Second Republic were the ones that made China the second largest economy in the world, after the United States.
“This training programme is part of Government’s efforts to enhance production capacity, foreign and domestic investments through creation of competitive Special Economic Zones which were attractive to investors,” he said.
“These macroeconomic and trade policy interventions are included in the economic reforms which underpin Vision 2030 and the National Development Strategy 1 (2021-2025) whose main objective is to create an upper middle income economy by 2030.”
Ambassador Kitikiti said China continued to be one of the major supporters of Zimbabwe’s development aspirations.
“This relationship has since escalated to a comprehensive strategic partnership level,” he said.
“This upgrade in Zimbabwe-China relations occurred when His Excellency President Mnangagwa visited China in April 2018.
“Zimbabwe’s agenda is to create an enabling environment in line with the country’s Vision 2030 of creating an upper middle income economy by 2030.”
Ambassador Kitikiti said in further training sessions they intend to cover matters of immigration processes and acquisition of work permits.
“Experiences of long time Chinese investors in Zimbabwe also need to be shared in order to enable the State to redress any shortcomings or business risks caused by local laws and policies,” he said.
“In addition, we could cause Zimbabwean investors to share their experiences with their Chinese partners. Importantly, issues of access to Chinese laws and markets remain of great interest to Zimbabwean companies focused on doing business with China.”
Chinese Deputy Director-General, International Cooperation Centre of National Development and Reform Commission, Mr Chang Hao, said the improvement and optimisation of business environment was the theme for the training.
“We are very willing to share China’s experiences with our African friends and strengthen China-Africa cooperation, so as to assist Zimbabwe and other African countries in optimising business environment and accelerating the development of SEZs in Zimbabwe and AfCFTA at large,” he said.
“As the virus is still wreaking havoc, the reform in business environment is vital tool to revive the economy. Ease of doing business is conducive to supporting market entities and releases positive signals to the trade partners in the world.”
Mr Chang said the ease of doing business was vital in economic recovery in the post-pandemic era and also substantial for deepening China-Africa cooperation and exchanges.