China, Zimbabwe trade doubles, calls for relaxed visas for Asians

Posted on May 9, 2012 | Category: Politics; Business, Sport

Harare– Speaking at a public lecture presenting “Outlook of  China’s Economy and Sino-Zimbabwe Relations,” China’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe Xin  Shunkang said trade between the two nations has doubled to $800 million since  2010.
China continues to make its presence known in parts of Africa,  including Zimbabwe.  Many Chinese companies and public officials are working  closely with their Zimbabwean counterparts as the Asian economic powerhouse  persists in its African investment.Xin Shunkang, China’s Ambassador to  Zimbabwe, spoke during a public lecture where he introduced a report titled “Outlook of China’s Economy and Sino-Zimbabwe Relation,” according to The  Zimbabwean.  It looks at the level of trade between the two nations and  how much money has been invested.

The Chinese Ambassador, who has served  close to three years, said the report found that trade between the two nations  has doubled from $400 million to $800 million in just two years, while also  strengthening political and social relations.

In the paper, it found that one of the  most successful trade commodities is tobacco.  The Chinese government has also  contributed more than $25 million since 2009 to various Zimbabwean initiatives.

Before the end of his term as  Ambassador, Shunkang urged Zimbabwe to take lessons from China, which has  transformed its economy in three decades.  He encouraged the leadership to  establish processing and production facilities in 10 provinces that would focus  on key commodities, like beef, cotton and tobacco.

Relaxed visas  reports that Zimbabwe Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Walter Mzembi  urged the government to review its visa classifications and requirements that  would be relaxed for Asian visitors.

The current system gives the European  Union important preference over others.

“Visa conditions need to be looked at,” said Mzembi.  “The Asian countries are our new friends, business relations are  growing from strength to strength.  We should reward the friendship more  practically.”

Food shortage

The Zambian government confirmed that  it has agreed to sell 300,000 tons of corn to its southern neighbor, which is  suffering from intense food shortages, including corn.

Zambia’s state Food Reserve Agency said  in a statement the deal would reduce the nation’s food surplus by 50 percent,  reports the Associated Press (via BusinessWeek).

More than a decade ago, Zimbabwe was  the nation to export food to Zambia, but since President Robert Mugabe and his  Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) made it policy for  white-owned farm owners, and other white-owned businesses, to give majority  stake to the country’s blacks, the nation has suffered from many, many shortages  and violence.

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