Envoy hopes for better Zimbabwe-Germany ties

via Envoy hopes for better Zim-Germany ties – DailyNews Live  by Helen Kadirire 19 MAY 2014

Zimbabwe and Germany should mend their relations in order to foster more bilateral relations, Germany ambassador to Zimbabwe Ulrich Klockner has said.

The envoy said the relationship was not as good as it could be for various reasons, but hoped there can be an improvement.

In an interview with the Daily News after decorating former Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda with a Cross of Merit for his dedication in promoting business ties between Harare and German city, Munich, Klockner said there were encouraging signals such as the interest by Zimbabwean businesses in German business.

“I hope to establish the good relations we had 20 years ago,” Klockner said. “We hope to have a good relationship in the field of politics and culture but mostly in business, because it is a good entry point. Masunda is one of the people who can help a lot with that.”

The Germany envoy said Zimbabwe must also mend her rift with the European Union.

“The sour relations between Zimbabwe and the EU have already cost the country billions in FDI, the country has to repair these relationships if any meaningful economic recovery will happen,” he said.

“I am sure the mending of relations will see the inflow of aid from EU once again and we all know the country is desperate for FDI.”.

Zimbabwe is desperately trying to attract FDI and access international lines of credit.

Investors and financiers however are wary of its policies, particularly the indigenisation law — compelling foreigners to cede majority shareholding to black locals.

Klockner said the country needs to put on paper amendments to the controversial indigenisation policy.

“The efforts to attract FDI through amending the empowerment law are all well-intentioned and German investors see this and are excited,” he said.

“However, if the country wants to tap into larger volumes of investors, they really need to mend relations with the EU as many investors fall under the EU.” Masunda is the eighth person to win this award but he is the first African born to be decorated with the award as his predecessors have been German nuns and fathers.

Eric Bloch, who was decorated in 2002, is the only known living recipient of the award in southern Africa so far.