Tuesday, 8 May 2018

ZIM. QATAR SIGN COOPERATION AGREEMENT

PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday met the Amir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, as the country began its first high-level engagement with one of the richest countries in the world.

Soon after the meeting at the Royal Palace in Doha, the two leaders witnessed the signing of a co-operation agreement by Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa and his counterpart, Ali Shareef al-Emadi, to enhance bilateral and economic co-operation.

Mines and Mining Development Minister Mr Winston Chitando; Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Minister Perrance Shiri; Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Governor Dr John Mangudya and other Cabinet Ministers also held meetings to unlock opportunities in their respective portfolios.

Briefing journalists soon after the meeting with Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Minister Chinamasa said the two countries, which are exploring new areas of co-operation, have agreed to implement the signed deals immediately.

“We have agreed that we negotiate and conclude a Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement. We have also agreed to negotiate and conclude a double avoidance of taxation agreement. These are matters we are going to pursue more immediately.

“As you may know, His Excellency, President Mnangagwa, has had a meeting with His Royal Highness. I was able to sign an economic and technical agreement with my counterpart. We also have bilateral meetings which are going on and we are focusing on economic cooperation,” he said.

Minister Chinamasa said possible areas of co-operation include energy, infrastructure and tourism.

“At the moment, we are trying to identify areas of co-operation and we are looking at power generation, which could include gas or coal or hydro, infrastructure and tourism.
“Those are the areas which we will focus on as we develop the relationship, as this is our first contact with Qatar. Business is about relationships; we have to develop relationships before we can realise the outcomes that we so desire. These are first contacts and I am hopeful and quite optimistic that this first contact will develop into a full-blown economic relationship,” he said.

According to Minister Chinamasa, President Mnangagwa had accepted the Qatari leader’s invitation as part of the new administration’s thrust to engage with the global community.

“This is an invitation we were ready to accept in order to promote the economic recovery of our country.”

Minister Chitando said Qatar has shown a huge interest in Zimbabwe’s energy resources.
“They have an appetite for energy resources which we have. They also have an entity called Mining Investment Co-operation, which focuses on mining investments in Africa and I am meeting them later,” he said.

Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world with a per capita income (total income (GDP) divided by size of population) of US$124 927.

With more than 25 billion barrels in oil reserves and the world’s third-largest natural gas reserves, Qatar has also strengthened sectors such as manufacturing, construction and financial services.
The Gulf nation is set to host the 2022 World Cup.

Zimbabwe has natural gas reserves in Lupane, which are currently unexploited. Herald

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