Zimbabwe, UK to mend economic ties
from MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE – ZIMBABWE and United Kingdom look set to revive economic ties to end years of acrimony.
This follows a five-member British business delegation touring Zimbabwe on Tuesday with the sole aim to explore economic opportunities in a number of sectors including mining, energy, transport, communications, water development as well as infrastructure.
The five-member delegation, headed by Alex Lambeth met the local minister of finance, Patrick Chinamasa and government officials.
British ambassador to Zimbabwe Catriona Laing was also present at the event.
“We hope that our visit will be a chance to build long-term relationships with Zimbabwean partners.
“Our programme includes meetings across the private sector and public sector to help us understand more about Zimbabwe’s development objectives and where international expertise could provide the most assistance,” Lambeth said.
Chinamasa said the visit was a first step towards normalisation of relations between Harare and London.
“They (British) are on a mission to investigate areas of co-operation, areas of investment opportunities and they are investigating how they can facilitate the implementation of our Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset) economic programme.
“This is their first visit, the first visit by a British trade delegation after many years, probably over 20 years. It is marking the first step in the normalisation of relations,” Chinamasa said.
Zimbabwe and its colonial master have been at loggerheads since the turn of the millennium when Zimbabwe controversially took over productive farms from the white minority.
Britain has repeatedly accused the President Robert Mugabe regime of human rights violations and electoral fraud.
Zimbabwe claims sanctions by the British and other influential Western nations have paralysed its economy.
– CAJ News
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