China committed to supporting Zimbabwe’s innovation-driven industrialisation

Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Zhou Ding

CHINESE Ambassador to Zimbabwe Zhou Ding yesterday said his country is committed to supporting Zimbabwe’s innovation-driven industrialisation and modernisation agenda.

China also remains the country’s largest direct foreign investor with companies from the Asian giant investing in various sectors of the economy.

Ambassador Zhou made the remarks during his presentation titled: “Innovation as a catalyst for industrialisation and trade lessons from China” at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) International Business Conference. 

The conference was held on the sidelines of the 64th ZITF running under the theme: “Innovation: The Catalyst for Industrialisation and Trade,” and 26 countries are participating at this year’s trade showcase.

Ambassador Zhou explained how China supported the growth of its economy by promoting innovation which has seen millions of prototypes being established.

He said high-quality products have been produced by Chinese companies with that country’s government also promoting talented individuals.

Ambassador Zhou said China is ready to promote innovation-driven business opportunities for developing countries including Zimbabwe. 

“China stands ready to support Zimbabwe’s innovation-driven development first as Zimbabwe’s biggest source of foreign investment. China plays a key role in propelling Zimbabwe’s economic and social progress, and has laid a solid foundation for Zimbabwe’s innovation-driven development,” he said.

“Hundreds of Chinese companies are operating in Zimbabwe generating a lot of foreign currency income, tax revenue and creating thousands of job opportunities for Zimbabweans.” 

Ambassador Zhou said the discovery of lithium reserves among other minerals across the country has helped catapult Zimbabwe into being a global player in the renewable energy market.

Chinese investment has seen the revival of Yahua Group, Kamativi Mining Company which is a partnership between the Government and a Chinese investor and the project has created over 1 200 jobs.

The KMC, which started operations in 2019, is mining lithium at Kamativi, a site previously known for tin mining that ceased operations in 1994 due to a steep decline in global tin prices.

The company which intends to invest US$249 million, has so far spent about US$100 million on the first phase of the project.

Chinese investments are spread across the sections of the economy. 

Ambassador Zhou said Zimbabwe will soon become the largest producer of steel due to the billion-dollar investment by Chinese companies.

“Chinese investment has strengthened Zimbabwe’s manufacturing sector. Dinson Iron and Steel Company is expected to invest more than US$1,5 billion to construct the largest steel plant in Sub-Saharan Africa. In lithium mining, Chinese companies have invested more than US$1 billion making Zimbabwe an important player in the global renewable energy production and supply,” he said.

“Chinese investors have also built factories of electrical appliances, cement, tiles, fertiliser and clothing among others contributing to the diversification of the manufacturing industry in Zimbabwe.”

Ambassador Zhou said Zimbabweans have also benefited from skills transfer and development from China through such investments.

He said every year Government officials among other critical stakeholders travel to China for capacity-building training programmes.

Ambassador Zhou said Chinese companies have also contributed to infrastructure development including the construction of dams.

A Chinese firm, China International Water and Electric Corporation was contracted to construct the Lake Gwayi- Shangani and Tuli Manyange Dam among other projects in the Matabeleland region.

Ambassador Zhou said China’s participation at the ZITF provides a window for Zimbabweans to appreciate the level of Chinese investment in the country.

China’s Pavilion is located at Hall 2A and has several products manufactured by Chinese companies.

Chronicle

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