HARARE –Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday urged Chinese investors to invest in Zimbabwe's tourism sector and help turn the southern African country into a competitive tourist destination.
He made the remarks on the occasion where a visiting delegation from China's Zhejiang Province and the Zimbabwean government officials and business leaders witnessed the signing of a twinning arrangement between Zimbabwe's Chinhoyi City and China's Dongyang City.
He said Zimbabwe possesses vast tourism opportunities which if fully harnessed, could help the country in its quest to become an upper middle income economy by 2030.
It emerged at the meeting that Zimbabwe had set aside 1,200 hectares of prime land in the resort town of Victoria Falls for tourism development. "I urge you, prospective investors (from China), to seize this opportunity to turn Victoria Falls into a competitive tourism hub and financial center," Mnangagwa said.
The resort town, in Matabeleland North Province, is home to the magnificent Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. On Wednesday, officials from the two countries are set to sign twinning agreements between Zhejiang Province and Matabeleland North Province, and Jinhua City and Victoria Falls.
Mnangagwa said his government has a plan to develop a tourism corridor along the Zambezi River, covering two provinces in the north and western parts of the country.
Ge Huijun, head of the Chinese delegation and chairman of the People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Zhejiang Provincial Committee, said China was keen to consolidate its friendly ties and cooperation with Zimbabwe, particularly in the tourism sector.
"Zimbabwe is an important partner of China in Africa. Today, we come from afar to Zimbabwe to comprehensively strengthen our exchanges and collaboration with Zimbabwe and set an example of mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Africa," Ge said.
She said cooperation between Zhejiang and Zimbabwe continued to grow, with seven reputable companies from the province making significant investments in Zimbabwe over the past few months.
Bilateral trade between Zhejiang and Zimbabwe grew by 17.32 percent in 2018 to 180 million US dollars, and there was huge potential for further growth, Ge said.
She urged Zimbabwean companies to participate in China's business events to grow business opportunities and expand cooperation between the two countries.