The Zimbabwe-China trade fair, which is being hosted by the Africa Economic Development Strategies (AEDS), will be held from July 02-July 04 in Harare. The fair aims to facilitate trade between Beijing and Harare as well as to concretise and lower costs of doing business between the two countries.
The meeting also seeks to allow local business people to meet with potential Chinese investors.
“Since adopting the Look East Policy there has been considerable increase in trade and investment between Zimbabwe and China. So far Zimbabwe companies have been facing difficulties in trading with China because of the size Chinese economy and the complexity of the industrial structure,” AEDS said.
“To this end, AEDS in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, CZI, ZNCC and the Chinese embassy are hosting the first ever Zimbabwe China Trade Fair, which seeks t… create business linkages between the companies of the two countries.”
Speakers at the fair will include Industry Minister Welshman Ncube, Mines Minister Obert Mpofu, Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, Economic Planning minister Tapiwa Mashakada, outgoing Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Shungkang and former Zimbabwe Ambassador to China Chris Mutsvangwa.
The Zimbabwe-China trade fair will precede a China-Africa co-operation summit, which will be held in Beijing from July 18 to 19.
President Robert Mugabe’s government looked to Asian countries for investors after being shunned and slapped by sanctions by western countries over human rights abuses and electoral fraud charges. The 88 year old leader has said China is Zimbabwe’s all weather friend, something that has been dismissed by analysts who say Beijing is after Zimbabwe’s rich mineral resources, which are being bought cheaply.
The Chinese have been making in-roads into Zimbabwe’s economy by taking over mining claims and doing construction business.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai recently led a delegation to China.
But Chinese investments have not gone without controversy. Recently Chinese businessmen in the country were accused of abusing Zimbabwean workers and becoming law unto themselves. Workers of the Chinese owned Anjin, the biggest gem mining company, went on strike citing poor salaries and working conditions.