Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) has engaged its counterparts in Russia and Namibia to attract foreign direct investment.
In an interview following a recent business development tour in the two countries, ZNCC deputy president, Dr Tinashe Manzungu, said the business lobby group was keen to tap into investment opportunities arising from cordial relations between Zimbabwe and its allies.
ZNCC was part of a delegation led by Industry and Commerce Minister, Mangaliso Ndlovu, which travelled to Russia for an international trade fair INNOPROM 2019, where they had a meeting with the Ural Chamber of Commerce and discussed business opportunities in Zimbabwe.
The delegation also attended the second edition of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit GMIS 2019, which targeted all manufacturers and industries in the world. Zimbabwe was one of the few countries from Africa that attended.
The main focus of this conference was innovation promotion and technology in industries under the theme “4th Industrial Revolution Frontier”. Major proceedings were hosted in Yekaterinburg Province and the guest of honour was Russia President Vladimir Putin.
“As ZNCC we managed to schedule two meetings with the Governor of Sverdlovsk Region through his ministers as well as the Ural Chamber of Commerce in Russia. We managed to present to them opportunities in various sectors of the economy including tourism, manufacturing, agriculture and of course mining, particularly in the mineral rich Midlands region,” he said.
Dr Manzungu they were preaching the ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ mantra, which he said was going to result in increased FDI into the country. He said engagements held were positive and going to result in multi-million investments into the country as the Second Republic walks the talk on attracting FDI.
“The deputy governor of Yekaterinburg (fourth largest city in Russia and administrative centre for Sverdlovsk) also highlighted the business opportunities in that country, which we can also tap into.
He made special mention of fertiliser production and possible export of the product to Zimbabwe, which were are also pushing for investment in agriculture to support Command Agriculture programme being spearheaded by the Government,” he said.
Dr Manzungu said during the meeting, two Russian companies, one state-owned, showed interest in investing in the country’s pharmaceutical industry.
“Furthermore, in agriculture, they highlighted an interest to import avocado pears from Zimbabwe. An avocado pear ranges from around US$6 in Europe compared to our local price of less than US$1.
The high price in Europe is determined by the weather, which is not conducive. And it means we can export this product and earn foreign currency for the country. There are several other opportunities, which emanated from these engagements,” he said.
Dr Manzungu also said after the visit to Russia, ZNCC was part of a recent State visit to Namibia where they had a meeting with the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“As the business delegation, we had various discussions and engagements with our Namibian counterparts aimed at strengthening business cooperation as well as reducing trade barriers between the two countries,” he said.