It’s time for Chinese and international investors to seriously consider Zimbabwe and stop fence-sitting as the country has already initiated processes towards the ease of doing business.

This was the message from the Zimbabwe delegation led by Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko attending the 19th China International Fair for Investment and Trade underway in Xiemen City, Fujian Province. The investment indaba officially opened yesterday.VP Mphoko is leading a delegation comprising Commerce and Industry Minister Mike Bimha and Small to Medium Scale Enterprises and Co-operative Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni.

In his address, VP Mphoko said the event offered an opportunity for Zimbabwe and China to solidify existing bilateral and business relations.“My country Zimbabwe has opportunities in agriculture, mining, tourism and infrastructure development that we are ready to discuss with interested investors. We recognise the importance of investment to rapid sustainable development in order to improve the livelihood of our people.

“As we seek to promote investment in various sectors of our economy, we are aware of the need to have a business environment that is friendly and supportive,” he said.VP Mphoko saluted the China National Development and Reform Commission for its assistance towards the revitalisation of Zimbabwe’s production capacity under a framework signed last year.

VP MPHOKO IN CHINA“We hope to attract Chinese companies. We stand ready to see such companies in our production sectors including the Special Economic Zones and industrial parks,” he said.VP Mphoko said Zimbabwe was ready to engage Chinese companies on a win-win basis in value-addition projects in line with the Sadc 2015 Extraordinary roadmap on industrialisation.

Minister Bimha made a similar plea when he addressed the Zimbabwe Investment Seminar on the sidelines of the investment and trade indaba.

“Zimbabwe is ready to forge and strengthen economic ties and partnership with China and the international community. Zimbabwe is therefore looking for opportunities and new approaches to facilitate the development of international competitive clusters that act as suppliers to multinational production networks through regional and global value chain and in the process attracting Foreign Direct Investment and technology transfer,” he said.

Added Minister Bimha: “As the second largest economy in the world, China is well placed to contribute to the industrialisation and development of Zimbabwe. There is huge potential for exploring regional and global value chain in Zimbabwe and in all the investment sectors of agriculture, mineral beneficiation, mining, manufacturing, infrastructure development and tourism, among other sectors.” He said Zimbabwe was open for investment.

“Zimbabwe welcomes on board Chinese business people as well as other international investors to participate in the implementation of Zim-Asset projects through investment in various sectors. The message we bring to you is that Zimbabwe is ready and open for business.

We are doing all we can to improve the ease of doing business environment in order to attract FDI. We stand ready to engage investors here and in Zimbabwe.”Minister Bimha urged China to capitalise on the already historic relations between Harare and Beijing to establish business in Zimbabwe.“I wish to make a passionate plea to the Chinese and international business people to be decisive in taking investment opportunities offered in Zimbabwe,” he said.

Minister Bimha said China occupied a unique and strategic position as a source of investment and technology transfer and market for Zimbabwean products.