via Indonesia, Zim keen to boost trade cooperation | The Herald February 10, 2016
Rutendo Rori Herald Correspondent
Implementation of trade deals signed during President Mugabe’s visit to Indonesia last year for the Asia-Africa Conference is gaining momentum with the Asian country sending a follow-up delegation to Harare.
President Mugabe signed the deals in various fields with his Indonesian counterpart Mr Joko Widodo.
Speaking after a breakfast meeting in Harare yesterday, Indonesian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Abdurrahman Mahommad Fachir said there was need for the implementation of the Memoranda of Understanding signed between the two countries.
“Up to now, we have six MoUs agreed by the two governments on agriculture, technical cooperation, avoidance of double taxation, investment and empowerment of women,” he said.
Dr Fachir said he met Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgar Mbwembwe and the Minister of Industry and Commerce Mike Bimha on Monday and discussed the implementation of the MoUs.
“We need to follow up the MoUs by looking into developing the mechanisms of implementation,” he said. “We also agreed on the importance of formulating each MoU.
“With the Minister of Industry and Commerce, we discussed on how to move forward in exploring this possible cooperation. The fact that our trade value is far below our potentials means we need to do something and optimise our potentials.”
Dr Fachir said he discussed conducting direct commercial relations between Zimbabwe and Indonesia to attract more investment from Indonesia.
“We discussed the importance of setting up a finance bank regiment,” he said. “It might attract our people to have a direct contact.” Dr Fachir said the Trade Expo Indonesia in October this year will be the right time for the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce and Indonesian Chamber of Commerce to meet and discuss how to attract more direct interaction between the business communities of the two countries.
“Basically, some of the Zimbabwean companies since 2010 have taken part in Trade Expo Indonesia every year, and this is a good sign that there has been direct contact, but we need to empower them further in order to share the experience with other business people,” he said.
Dr Fachir said he was also in the country to cement bilateral relations between the two countries in view of President Mugabe’s visit to Indonesia last year.
He said the Asia-Africa Conference was a success in various areas.
“Last year, President Mugabe visited Jakarta to attend the 60th anniversary of Asia-Africa Conference and during the visit, he met with his counterpart President Joko Widodo of Indonesia,” said Mr Fachir.
“Among the important outcomes of the Asia-Africa Conference was the establishment of the Asia-Africa Conference Centre and this is a mechanism to solidify the relation of cooperation among countries in the two regions, mostly the economic and commercial relations.”