Sunday, 10 July 2016

CHINAMASA RETURNS EMPTY HANDED, BUT

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Dr John Mangudya says Zimbabwe is now poised to negotiate new funding from global multi-lateral institutions following “fruitful” discussions between Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa and a number of overseas investors. If the plan succeeds, Zimbabwe could clear its external arrears before 2016 is out.

Minister Chinamasa and his delegation returned home late last week after visiting France, Belgium and the United Kingdom. However, he could not be reached for comment last night. In an interview with The Sunday Mail, Dr Mangudya said the engagements in Europe bore positive results.

“We had fruitful engagements in Europe. I was not able to attend the meetings that the Minister (Chinamasa) had in France and Brussels, Belgium, as I was only able to join him in the UK.

“The meetings we had in the UK were a positive step towards the re-engagement process that we are pursuing with international creditors. “In London, we were able to show all prospective investors that we are ready for business. They also got to understand that the investment climate in Zimbabwe is not as negative as portrayed in some circles.”

Zimbabwe plans to clear its arrears of about US$1, 8 billion to the World Bank, African Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Of the arrears, about US$1 billion is owed to the WB, US$600 million-plus to the AfDB and US$100 million to the IMF.

Zimbabwe’s will use of its Special Drawing Rights valued at US$129 million to settle the IMF arrears. Authorities also want to use a bridge loan to settle the country’s obligation to the AfDB.

Dr Mangudya said one of the visit’s highlights was the negotiations on a US$986 million package to pay back arrears to the WB. Government, he said, is also negotiating with the Africa Export-Import Bank for a loan, with all arrears expected to be cleared in time for the IMF and World Bank board meetings in September.

The historic London conference was organised by Africa Confidential and was themed “Zimbabwe 2016, Rebuilding and Rebooting”. sunday mail

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