DESPITE the dark cloud cast by the Covid-19 pandemic, Chinese investors are keen to continue working on a number of projects such as the Hwange Thermal Power Expansion Project and embark on new ones, Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Guo Shaochun said.
Apart from the expansion of Hwange Power Station, some of the joint projects between China and Zimbabwe include the construction of the New Parliament building in Mount Hampden and the expansion of the Robert Mugabe International Airport.
Although the global Covid-19 pandemic has stalled some of the projects, Ambassador Guo on Wednesday said there was now appetite to proceed with the projects with the supervision of the Zimbabwean Government.
“We encourage the Chinese businesses in Zimbabwe to resume work under the guidance of your Government,” he said.
With Zimbabwe witnessing a disturbing surge in Covid-19 infections, Ambassador Guo said necessary steps were being taken to ensure that the safety of those involved in the flagship projects was guaranteed.
“We are taking all necessary steps to ensure good progress at our joint flagship projects, including the expansion of Hwange Power Station and the Robert Mugabe International Airport. We are keeping our co-operation in agriculture, and many other areas robust,” he added.
Apart from pursuing already existing projects, Ambassador Guo said the embassy is still wooing investors from China to invest in Zimbabwe.
“We are promoting Zimbabwe to more Chinese investors. In doing so, we count on the support of your Government for conditions conducive to these joint undertakings,” said the Ambassador.
In 2018, President Mnangagwa was invited to Beijing, China, where the two countries signed Memoranda of Understanding that will expedite the country’s socio-economic recovery under the New Dispensation.
Some of the projects are now taking shape, with some such as the New Parliament building already at the completion stage.
Zimbabwe has over the past few years signed more than a dozen landmark deals with China in which the Oriental State provided financial support for the much-needed economic enablers for infrastructure development.
The Ambassador commended President Mnangagwa’s recent two-day working visit to Hwange where he toured a number of projects key in driving the country’s industrialisation through increased power generation.
President Mnangagwa’s visit to Hwange mining companies was to assess progress towards the creation of a $12 billion mining industry in the broader context of Vision 2030.
Coal and gas projects underway in the region create thousands of jobs, increase export revenues and see Zimbabwe become self-sufficient on fuels and electricity.
In the process of exploiting these minerals which include coal and coking coals with many other by-products, foreign currency generation will be one of the ultimate gains and also job creation, goals which will help Zimbabwe achieve Vision 2030 to be a middle class income.–herald.c.zw