Zim, United Kingdom in win-win cooperation

ZIMBABWE and the United Kingdom are cultivating mutually beneficial cordial relations based on respect and trust as evidenced by the increased cooperation between the two countries, President Mnangagwa said.

As a result of President Mnangagwa’s engagement and reengagement philosophy as well as his “Zimbabwe is Open for Business” mantra a British business delegation is in the country following an invitation extended to them by the President when he attended King Charles III’s coronation back in May.

Since the advent of the President Mnangagwa-led administration, Harare and London have exchanged high-level visits and witnessed increased cooperation and thawing of hostile relations.

Addressing a meeting with the British business delegation at State House yesterday, President Mnangagwa said the coming in of the business delegation served to show that the UK is confident in the Second Republic’s leadership.

The UK is one of the largest foreign investors in Zimbabwe with over 300 firms operating in the country.

The President said it was imperative to note that the two countries continued to see that what unites them is much greater than what divides them.

“I recall that at the sidelines of the coronation of His Majesty, King Charles Ill, held in London in May 2023, I extended an invitation to British entities to invest in Zimbabwe.

“I appreciate that this delegation has honoured that invitation, barely four months after our meeting in London. This is a reflection of your commitment and confidence in the potential and future of our country.

“I want from the onset to acknowledge the warm and cordial Zimbabwe-UK relations, which are progressively improving by the day.

“The sustained re-engagement between our countries will allow entities from our respective jurisdictions to explore and take up the abundant opportunities for shared prosperity and the benefit of our people,” he said.

President Mnangagwa said the country was witnessing an increase in British investments, which was further evidence that indeed Zimbabwe is open for business, and truly a friend to all and enemy to none.

Worth noting, he said, was that Zimbabwe and the UK were charting a new way forward, letting bygones be bygones.

“We cannot change the past, but we can learn from it. The Land Reform Programme was the basis of the differences between our two countries, but that programme is now behind us. We are all moving forward.

“It is therefore noteworthy that under the Second Republic, Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom continue to cultivate a new relationship based on mutual respect and trust.

“The exchange of High-Level visits as well as steadily increasing investments from British companies in Zimbabwe is evidence of the blossoming and re-calibrated friendship between our two countries and people. Zimbabwe is Open for Business including, for British companies,” said the Head of State.

The President said the history between Harare and London cannot be erased hence it was important for the two to “exert our efforts on what unites us as opposed to matters that divide us”.

President Mnangagwa said investment opportunities were present in Zimbabwe and his administration was very much committed to increasing cooperation with the UK on all fronts.

“Over the years, since my Administration came to office, consultations have been undertaken with High-Level Ministers of State for Africa notably Rory Stewart, Harriet Baldwin, James Doddridge, Vicky Ford, and more recently Mr Andrew Mitchell.

“These revealed that while Zimbabwe and the UK are geographically thousands of miles apart, our intricately linked history cannot be wished away. Hence, it is critically important, in my view, to exert our efforts on what unites us as opposed to matters that divide us.

“I am aware that since your arrival, you have been having a series of meetings with various Government Ministries and Agencies with the purpose of appreciating opportunities for investment and partnerships across the various sectors of the economy,” he said.

The President told the delegation to make themselves comfortable as he had charged his administration to assist and facilitate processes towards increased trade and investment.

“May I assure this delegation and indeed other potential investors of my Administration’s commitment to deepen cooperation with the United Kingdom.

“Please be at liberty to seek clarifications that you may have with regards to your engagements with our ministries, departments and agencies. I am an action-oriented man and I would want to see results and concrete deals from this important visit.

“My officials have been instructed to assist and facilitate processes towards increasing trade and investment between Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom.

“I am aware that there have been no significant investments into the country by British companies since the year 2000. Similarly, the United Kingdom is Zimbabwe’s 5th largest export destination in Europe, after Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Germany.

“Untapped export potential to the UK exists in products such as raw sugar, black tea and citrus,” said the Head of State.

Mr Algy Cluff, who is leading the British delegation, said he was excited to be coming back with prospects to invest in Zimbabwe.

“We were the first foreign investors in Zimbabwe after independence and had a very happy experience here until we were taken over to my fury.

“I wanted to reinvest and I judged that now is the right time to do so and I hope we can return and we are particularly interested in lithium and also gold,” he said.

Mr Cluff described relations between Zimbabwe and the UK as “very important”.


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