via European Investment Bank team arrives in Zim – DailyNews Live 14 April 2015 by Ndakaziva Majaka
HARARE – A high level team from the European Investment Bank (EIB) is in Zimbabwe to assess the economic situation in the country, European Union (EU) Ambassador Philippe Van Damme has said.
Van Damme told businessdaily yesterday that the EIB officials are scheduled to meet with Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, the central bank governor, John Mangudya, and several players in the private sector with special emphasis on the financial services sector.
“They arrived this morning (Monday), and will be in the country for a week. This is a follow up to last year’s mission with prospects in the private sector for possible contribution to Foreign Direct Investment and domestic investment in the banking sector,” he said.
Van Damme, however, said Zimbabwe — currently saddled with a $10 billion debt — did not qualify for any direct funds from the bank.
The envoy noted that the delegation would be in Bulawayo on Wednesday to meet up with players in the private sector.
“Also on the programme is an interaction meeting as the Zimbabwe-European Union Business Information Centre is launched in Bulawayo,” the EU ambassador said.
The latest visit by the EIB delegation comes after the European bloc last year lifted sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe 13 years ago on allegations of human rights abuses.
The move paved way for the union to resume aid to hard-pressed Zimbabwe.
Earlier this year the EU gave Zimbabwe $270 million in development assistance, with most of the money expected to fund numerous projects which include health and the constitutional alignment.
Meanwhile, the EIB — owned by the 28 EU countries and borrows money on the capital markets and lends to both inside the EU and in neighbouring or developing countries — is also expected to extend credit facilities to the local financial services sector for on-lending to industry.