JOHANNESBURG – Chinese businesses are preparing to open shop in Zimbabwe which could boost the country’s desperate need for foreign investment.
The acting Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Zhao Baogang, confirmed that his country was ready to enter into deals with companies in Zimbabwe, Pindula News reported on Tuesday.
Baogang made the comments when he officiated at the signing of a business deal between Zimbabwe’s Pacific Cigarette Company (PCC), formally known as Savanna Tobacco, and China Tobacco Shaanxi Industrial Corporation (CTSIC) last Friday.
The acting ambassador said that Beijing was committed to making its presence felt in Zimbabwe by engaging with the government and companies there.
“We, therefore, express our willingness to enter into deals with anyone who is ready to work with us,” said Baogang.
The agreement between the two tobacco companies is seen as a pilot project between Beijing and Harare and is expected to be followed by more business partnerships between the two countries.
The move also comes in the wake of a major Chinese expansion into Africa with investment by Beijing into numerous African countries.
In September, at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that China would be providing $60 billion in financial support to Africa.
This was broken down into partial distribution of funds, including $20 billion in credit lines, $15 billion in grants, interest-free loans and concessional loans, and $10 billion in investment financing. The support was expected to come in the form of government assistance and investment.
However, there has been criticism from analysts that this investment could burden developing nations with unsustainable levels of debt.
- African News Agency (ANA)