New economic chapter beckons for Zimbabwe

New economic chapter beckons for Zimbabwe
Published: 29 June 2018
CHINA is confident that Zimbabwe will register positive economic transformation under the new political dispensation, Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Huang Ping, has said.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for the $1,5 billion Hwange Thermal Power Station units 7 and 8 expansion project here on Wednesday, Mr Huang said 2018 was a significant year where the country under the new political administration led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa will hold credible elections.

Thereafter, a new economic era will be ushered in through significant Foreign Direct Investment.

"2018 is a significant year in the history of Zimbabwe for the harmonised elections to be held in just one month. China is confident that Zimbabwe is fully capable of holding a free, fair and credible election and after that Zimbabwe will open a new chapter in its history to achieve national economic rejuvenation," he said.

Since last December, the country has recorded concrete investment commitments worth nearly $20 billion on the back of the "Zimbabwe is open for business" policy adopted by the new Government.

Zimbabwe and China enjoy strong bilateral political and economic ties dating back to the years of the liberation struggle.

Mr Huang said the envisaged economic rejuvenation was also premised on President Mnangagwa's highly successful State visit to China in April this year.

"This year is a significant year in the history of Zimbabwe-China relations. Early this year President Mnangagwa paid a highly successful State visit to China during which he reached an agreement with his counterpart President Xi Jinping to elevate our relationship to comprehensive strategic co-operative partnership, ushering our relationship to a new era," he said.

"Throughout the years, China and Zimbabwe conducted fruitful exchanges and co-operation in infrastructure, agriculture, education, health, and other various fields. The new framework of the Comprehensive Strategic Co-operative Partnership and China-Zimbabwe co-operation will surely yield more results for the benefit of our peoples."

Mr Huang noted that electricity was the force that drives economic growth adding that with the coming on board of Hwange Thermal Power Station expansion project, a stronger economic impetus was expected in Zimbabwe.

The extension of the thermal power plant will see the addition of 600MW to the national grid from the plant's installed capacity of 920MW. The project, which Sino Hydro is expected to construct within 42 months, will see China EximBank releasing nearly $1 billion.

Earlier in his address, President Mnangagwa said the project would create about 3000 jobs directly while many more will be created in downstream industries.

"And this will go a long way towards our vision to create decent jobs by 2030. It is a fact that the socio-economic well-being of any nation is hinged on its access to sustainable and affordable clean energy."

"In line with international best practices in environmental management, this plant will have a flue gas cleaning facility to treat emissions and will utilise 12 000 tonnes of limestone per month during its operations," he said.

- the herald
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