ZIMBABWE’S participation at the ongoing Expo 2020 Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) continues to attract more business inquiries for trade and investment in various sectors of the economy.
The country is showcasing its products and services at the high-level global trade expo, which began on October 1 and will end on March 31 next year.
A total of 190 countries are participating at the exhibition and Zimbabwe is aggressively highlighting its wider investment opportunities, arts and culture, human capital and innovations.
The forum is strategic for the country under the Second Republic’s economic diplomacy agenda, which has already started bearing fruits as the country continues to record positive export growth, according to official trade statistics.
This is testimony that the world is warming up to Zimbabwean products and services. Guided by the mantra “Zimbabwe is open for business”, Government is already working closely with the private sector to revamp key productive sectors, as part of the broader economic transformation agenda, which is anchored on the rolling out of reforms aimed at enhancing the ease of doing business and stimulating both domestic and foreign direct investment.
Creating an export-led growth and substituting imports are at the heart of this drive, which should culminate in the attainment of an upper middle-income economy by 2030.
In a latest update, Expo 2020 Dubai commissioner general, Ambassador Mary Mubi, said Zimbabwe was reaping positive gains from the expo.
“In terms of the benefits thus far, I think we have to remember that as we came to the expo, we had some prior deliverables that we were looking for.
“One was engagement, the other one was to garner interest in the areas of investment, trade and visits and also to share ideas on innovations as you know the theme for Expo 2020 Dubai is, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating Future’. I believe that we continue to benefit from our presence here,” she said.
“There have been a number of inquiries particularly in both the investment area and in the trade area. There have been some investment inquiries, which we have sent to the relevant authorities related to health, some are fairly urgent, some are related to renewable energy.
“On agriculture, one of the major interests is in the area of tea, coffee, distribution, avocado and instant porridge.”
Ambassador Mubi said there have also been growing inquiry and interest in some of the above products because the country was showcasing items in Zimbabwe’s retail store at the expo.
The Second Republic, under President Mnangagwa, has adopted the “Zimbabwe is Open for business” mantra with trade, investment and private sector-led economy envisaged as key elements for the development matrix.
“We continue to have interest in leather because those in the livestock industry would want both cattle and goats, donkey and other types of leather,” said Ambassador Mubi.
“And of course, nuts macadamia, pecan and groundnuts are enquiries that we are getting.”
On the investment sector, Amb Mubi said Zimbabwe has received investment commitments in health and energy, particularly renewable models and agriculture and these inquiries are being sent home for follow ups.
“More recently, we have even had a discussion with some Canadians interested in exchanging ideas on organic production fertiliser and there is an imminent discussion between Zida (Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency) and the investor on the possibility of setting up an organic fertiliser plant,” she said, adding that interest has also been expressed by a prospective investor in the airports sector.
Other inquiries have been made on the importation of sugar and precious minerals.
“Over and above these, there are also benefits that we have derived from attending because we have a team from various ministries and we have been very active in participating in other events that have been held by other countries and in trying to network on behalf of the country,” said Ambassador Mubi.
Through participation at the Expo 2020 Dubai, she said Zimbabwe has the potential to strike long-term engagement benefits that will benefit the economy in various areas.
For example, Ambassador Mubi said, one of the Zimbabwean officers recently attended an event where the country was interested in networking around the investment hubs.
“We believe that the platform has really benefited the country but, of course, part of that benefit will require that we are actively supported by the relevant institutions, so that we make these inquiries into some reality,” she said.
Ambassador Mubi said the prospective investors have also been shown video footage of the Victoria Falls and the Eastern Highlands as well as other places in the country.
In this light, she said there were people who are actively interested in visiting Zimbabwe and the Government believes that the areas to be visited will be further amplified when events around issues of tourism are held at the Expo 2020 Dubai later at the beginning of next year.
Zimbabwean products drawn from across different economic sectors including products produced by Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have also been on display at the global trade showcase.
The country is exhibiting at the six-month long exhibition under the theme: “Zimbabwe the Land of Great Opportunities.”
Article Source: The Chronicle