Zvamaida Murwira-Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe will work with China and the rest of the world to foster an open and inclusive economic environment as its contribution to strengthen global trade and facilitate world economic recovery, President Mnangagwa told the virtual summit at the 2021 China International Fair For Trade in Services on Thursday.
This meant Zimbabwe would continue to create an enabling environment for innovation, increased production and productivity, entrepreneurship, job creation, access to new markets and new technologies.
“I also wish to appreciate the excellent bilateral relations between Zimbabwe and China under our comprehensive strategic partnership framework. Zimbabwe is dedicated to working, with China and indeed the rest of the world, to foster an open and inclusive environment for socio- economic cooperation. Zimbabwe had many areas of investment and President Mnangagwa thanked China for its continued support.
“There are opportunities for investment in energy and power generation; transport infrastructure and ICTs among others. We remain grateful for the support extended by the Chinese Government towards Zimbabwe’s socio-economic development. In the health services sector, Zimbabwe looks forward to increased cooperation with China and other partners in promoting science-based epidemic prevention and control systems, as well as innovation of medical technologies,” he said.
“On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe and on my own behalf, I would like to thank the Government of the People’’s Republic of China and His Excellency, President Xi Jinping for inviting me to address this 2021 Global Trade in Services Summit.
“The organisation of the summit yet again, under the constricted environment of the Covid-19 pandemic demonstrates China’s continued commitment to partnering nations of the world to strengthen global trade in services and further facilitate global economic recovery.“
Zimbabwe has identified the digital economy as a strategic aspect in the journey to become an upper middle income economy by 2030 and invited other countries in its journey for modernisation and industrialisation.
“Zimbabwe continues to create an enabling ecosystem to unleash the power of innovation in driving cooperation for increased production, productivity, entrepreneurship, job creation, access to new markets and the uptake of new technologies. International cooperation and intellectual property protection with regards to the digital sector is also being pursued.
‘Furthermore, my country has developed the Smart Zimbabwe 2030 Master Plan to drive the pace of ICT innovations, while addressing changing public needs and evolving global trends.”
President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe was spearheading Smart Agriculture in Africa that will guide the development of e-agriculture strategies on the African Continent.
He described the theme of this year’s summit, Towards Digital Future and Service Driven Development as timely because the world economy was increasingly becoming driven by technology and services.
“To this end, my country continues to make notable milestones in improving the business environment, informed by the global economic imperatives and in line with our national, regional and continental agenda.
“Zimbabwe is promoting greater trade policy harmonisation as well as transparent economic governance and more inclusive growth. The prioritisation of innovations across all sectors has had far reaching impacts on the economy.
Reforms spearheaded by the Second Republic had seen structural transformation of the economy towards enhancing production and productivity in key sectors such as agriculture, mining and manufacturing among others.
To propel this renewed focus, the President said, greater attention was being placed on efficient and cost-effective services, modern technologies and skills upgrading.
“The vision of transforming Zimbabwe into an upper-middle-income economy by 2030 envisages a modern, efficient and well-developed infrastructure to leapfrog Zimbabwe’s trade and economic transformation. There are opportunities for investment in energy and power generation, transport infrastructure and ICTs among others.
“We remain grateful for the support extended by the Chinese Government towards Zimbabwe’s socio-economic development,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said his Government had deployed an agriculture strategy whose aim was to transform agriculture for national prosperity and to lift many people out of poverty.
“Meanwhile, investment opportunities abound in tourism infrastructure development and the broadening of our tourism products. Zimbabwe stands ready to strengthen international cooperation in the field of trade in services.
“We are situated in a strategic location in Southern Africa for regionally targeted investments. This can be taken advantage of under the Belt and Road Initiative. Zimbabwe’s huge natural resource base, educated and skilled workforce are also attractive investment incentives,” he said.
Zimbabwe and China enjoy good bilateral relations dating back to the days of the liberation struggle.