Thursday 13 October 2022


CHARMED by President Mnangagwa’s open door policy and far reaching economic reforms, more investors will be coming from the European Union (EU) which is prepared to extend loans to the private sector as relations between the 27-member bloc and Zimbabwe continue to improve.

After presenting his credentials to President Mnangagwa at State House in Harare yesterday, incoming EU Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Jobst Von Kirchmann, said the bloc is available for constructive dialogue with Harare.

Prior to the advent of the Second Republic, relations between Zimbabwe and the EU were strained after the latter sided with Britain in unjustifiably sanctioning the country following its land reform programme that redressed land inequities.

But President Mnangagwa’s Zimbabwe is Open for Business policy has seen a number of European countries setting up shop in the country in yet another remarkable feat that Ambassador Kirchmann said can only be deepened.

“My mission here is targeting constructive dialogue with Zimbabwe. I said this today when the President said the EU no longer has sanctions on Zimbabwe, that is exactly what makes it possible for us to engage on trade aspects, we are the fourth largest Zimbabwean trading partner in the country.”

Ambassador Kirchmann said with relations between Zimbabwe and the EU having thawed since the dawn of the Second Republic, there is scope for further co-operation especially in trade, a thrust that dovetails with President Mnangagwa’s foreign policy that places international trade at the heart of diplomatic relations.

“We are seeing more and more investors coming (to Zimbabwe), the latest from France and Germany. We have at least US$105 million worth of investment currently, which of course creates jobs. I am very happy that the European Bank, the biggest bank in the world, has opened a credit facility for the private sector. I had a meeting with them last week to see how we can enlarge that facility into the future, to also increase further investment from the private sector,” he said.

Zimbabwe is a signatory to the Economic Partnership Agreement with the EU which goes beyond trade in goods, and include services and investment, trade-related areas such as sustainable development, competition, trade facilitation as well as further improvement in trade in goods and rules of origin.

Zimbabwe’s Vision 2030 has also piqued the EU, which is now coming on board with financial packages to accelerate the nation’s goal of becoming an upper middle-class economy in eight years’ time through inclusive development as outlined in the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).

“The European Union and its member states stand ready to support that. Currently we are investing around 60 million euros to support the health sector, in the coming years we will support greener and climate smart agriculture.

“The President today outlined how important it is for there to be more productivity and sustainability in agriculture. Together with other members of the EU, we will have around 162 million euros which we will invest in greener and smarter agriculture,” Ambassador Kirchmann said.

The EU envoy, who was among four ambassadors who presented their credentials yesterday, also lauded Zimbabwe for improving the role of women in decision making through progressive quotas that have been introduced by President Mnangagwa.

On his part, Switzerland Ambassador-designate, Mr Stephanie Rey, described relations between his country and Zimbabwe as “excellent”. Herald


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