French investors explore opportunities

As the engagement and re-engagement drive being pursued by the Second Republic continues to bear fruit, a French investment group is expected in Zimbabwe in the next few days to explore investment opportunities they can take up.

Zimbabwe’s Acting Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ambassador Rofina Chikava, yesterday met with French Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Laurent Chevallier, and resolved to convene a Joint Permanent Commission on Cooperation (JPCC) in the near future for the two countries to deepen bilateral cooperation.

Ambassador Chevallier was updating Ambassador Chikava about the French investors who are keen on local investment opportunities.

Speaking after the meeting, Ambassador Chikava said: “Today (yesterday) we met the French Ambassador. We are revisiting on their request to bring investors to Zimbabwe.

“We discussed on various areas which they want to cover and in that meeting, we also felt that as Foreign Affairs, we should propose that we can have a Joint (Permanent) Commission on Cooperation since the areas which they want to cover during the investment visit cover a lot of sectors.”

On his part, Ambassador Chevallier said he was happy to have to have a meeting with Ambassador Chikava.

“We discussed about the relationship between our two countries, the partnership between our two countries and all the opportunities to strengthen the partnership between our two countries, which is a shared will from our countries,” he said.

“And so we discussed some new projects in many sectors that France is about to launch here in Zimbabwe and also all the opportunities to reinforce our relationship in the economic sectors in which some French companies are already active here in Zimbabwe.

“We continue to work together in order to reinforce our partnership in the economic sectors and I would say as Ambassador, I am really committed in trying to have new French companies coming here in Zimbabwe to contribute to the economic activity of the country.”

Relations between Zimbabwe and France have been developing over the years, especially since the coming in of the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa.

While commissioning the Phase 1 of the US$13 million Seed Co maize conditioning plant, President Mnangagwa said the presence of Ambassador Chevallier at the event was rare but refreshing for a European envoy.

“We have seen here His Excellency, the French Ambassador; we rarely have European ambassadors attending our programmes. This speaks to the continuous acceptance of the Second Republic internationally.

“At the time of our independence, France came to join us and supported this country at independence in various sectors such as agriculture, defence and security. We would wish that relationship be restored, strengthened and broadened. We, therefore, stand ready to accept more French companies.

“Above that, we seek cooperation with the rest of the world under our Foreign Policy of engagement and re-engagement; engagement with those who would want to engage with us and re-engagement with those who have disengaged, that is the Second Republic’s policy.”

Seed Co’s maize conditioning plant was made possible through a loan facility from a French company, Proparco, which focuses on financing private sector development.

The Limagrain Group, an international agri-business based in France, is Seed Co’s major shareholder.

There are about 30 French companies operating in Zimbabwe such as Total Energies, Saint-Gobain Construction Products and the Lesaffre Group that acquired Anchor Yeast (Private) Limited in 2016.

Saint-Gobain Construction Products commissioned a US$1 million Weber plant for tile adhesives in Harare’s Msasa industrial area.

Herald

*Positive Eye News*

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