Source: Zim, Belarus move to conclude deals | The Herald April 27, 2016
Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe and Belarus are moving fast to operationalise multi-million dollar deals signed by the two countries last year. The deals, which cut across almost all sectors of the economy, fit in the 10-point-plan that was enunciated by President Mugabe in his State of the Nation Address last year.
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa signed the deals during his visit to Minsk last year, where he was accompanied by Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Dr Joseph Made and Reserve Bank Governor Dr John Mangudya.
Speaking to journalists after meeting VP Mnangagwa at his Munhumutapa Offices yesterday, Belarus Ambassador to Zimbabwe who serves from Pretoria, South Africa, said his country was happy with the political commitment shown by the Zimbabwean leadership to implement the deals.
He said the two sides were finalising a few technicalities after which Harare would receive the equipment. Once finalised, Zimbabwe would receive highly mechanised agriculture equipment, road construction equipment and dam construction equipment among other fields. “I must say that the position of your leaders is constructive and we are moving very fast,” he said.
“Two years ago we didn’t have any mutual projects but now we have dozens of such projects.
“Very soon we will see projects on the ground. When we are talking of such a project, it takes time because it is quite complicated because there is a wide range of equipment involved and financial support,” he said.
“It’s not easy to do, but I must say that all contracts have already been agreed on and we are waiting for the financial conclusions of those contracts and supply of the machinery to Zimbabwe.
“After the conclusion of this project, hopefully we will receive financial support from the banking institutions of Zimbabwe and Belarus and probably by the end of the year you will see Belarusian trucks and tractors in Zimbabwe.”
Ambassador Molchan continued: “Zimbabwe has great potential in all spheres and this is why the Republic of Belarus has decided to establish close relations with this country because we see the future benefits of such cooperation.
“The two countries are working hard in the development of mutual activities in such areas such as agriculture, industry and infrastructure. Belarus can suggest to our Zimbabwean friends the wide range of special agriculture industrial equipment for example tractors and huge mining trucks. Belarus is very strong in its agriculture development and we are ready to share that with our Zimbabwean counterparts.”
He said Belarus was open to training Zimbabwean students in agriculture, industry and IT development. Ambassador Molchan said modalities were being put in place to establish a permanent diplomatic mission in Harare.
He said that would depend on the level of the cooperation between the two countries, which he said was blossoming.