Sunday, 5 June 2016


PROVINCIAL Affairs ministers and mayors of major cities are due to travel to China where they are expected to sign a number of investment deals meant to help further developmental issues in their provinces and cities. The high level delegation, which will also include representatives of the business community will be travelling to the Qingdao province of China where they are also expected to study how the province has managed to successfully turn around their economy through the implementation of Special Economic Zones.

Macro-Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Minister Dr Obert Mpofu said the goal of the visit was to ensure that development is pushed from the roots hence the need for the learning visit.

He said the meeting would also allow delegates to meet various Chinese businesspeople where they will be expected to sign a number of Memorandum of Understandings and investment deals.

Dr Mpofu said among the other objectives of the visit would be to ensure that concrete deals are discussed and cemented for the mutual benefit of both business parties and countries.

“A delegation from Qingdao province was actually in the country early this year where Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister Cde Eunice Nomthandazo Moyo, Bulawayo Mayor Councillor Martin Moyo, their Harare counterparts and a number of businesspeople held various meetings with them, on possible engagement areas.

“It was during these meetings where the province suggested that if there were any specific areas where they can assist they will then be able to extend an invitation for a delegation from Zimbabwe.

What has happened since then is that the invitation has been made and all the Provincial Affairs ministers and selected mayors will be travelling to the province on this business visit,” said Dr Mpofu.

The minister said for a city like Bulawayo it was expected that they benefit a great deal noting that the city has since been earmarked to be a Special Economic Zone.

“As you might all know, China is one country that has gone a long in way in exploiting this phenomenon of Special Economic Zones so we expect this visit to give the Bulawayo community an opportunity to see how they work and how best to exploit it for economic growth.

“What will happen with these meetings is that they will be done on two levels; the policy and operational levels.

At the policy level we will be talking of the Provincial Affairs ministers and the mayors while at operational level, we will also include, for example, the city council picking its technical staff to go and see what is done in terms of project implementation and how technology can be used to push forward development,” said Minister Mpofu.

He revealed that the Chinese province will be sponsoring the entire trip. Dr Mpofu said the onus was now on those who would travel to Qingdao to take advantage, learn and come implement whatever they would learn back in the country. sunday news


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