HARARE – Zimbabwe is attaching great importance to economic diplomacy as it seeks to boost foreign direct investment and help revive the ailing economy, Foreign Affairs Minister Sibusiso Moyo said Monday.
He told a portfolio committee of parliament that the country's ambassadors had been given economic targets to achieve for the country, including on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and tourism.
"We are saying whatever diplomatic forces we deploy outside the borders of this country, they must be focused on ensuring that firstly there is FDI which comes into the country," said Moyo.
"It is their responsibility to ensure that they secure markets for Zimbabwean products. The other aspect has to do with technology, as investors bring FDI there must also be technology. The other aspect is that our diplomatic efforts must be deployed towards the mobilization of tourists into our country, which is a low hanging fruit," said the foreign minister.
Moyo said for a specific period of time, the performance of the envoys will be judged against the number of tourists and investors that they bring to the southern African country, as well as markets secure for the country.
"If an ambassador cannot perform, they can be recalled. So we prefer to have performing ambassadors," Moyo said. He said missions abroad had a duty to scout for potential investors and deepen economic relations with countries around the world.
In that vein, the government was in the process of recapitalizing the foreign embassies including renovating dilapidated offices and purchasing new furniture and equipment to ensure the envoys work in a good environment, Moyo said.
He said the government was forging ahead with its engagement and re-engagement efforts to end the country's decades-long isolation and chart a new development path for the country. Moyo also called for concerted efforts in promoting the country's political and economic interests, image and influence abroad.
"Let us make it a concerted effort and not the work of the ministry alone. I believe that each and every Zimbabwean must be an ambassador of this country in the external world. It does not matter which political affiliation you belong to," Moyo said.