US businesspeople set for Zim

HARARE - A delegation of American businesspeople is expected in Harare this January to explore opportunities in the country, Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda told businessdaily.

This comes after Masunda’s trip last month to Chicago, United States of America (USA), following up on investment initiatives started by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in 2011.

“I managed to persuade a delegation of Illinois legislators and businesspersons to come to Harare on an exploratory visit,” Masunda said, adding he will provide more detail on the developments.

In September 2011, Masunda travelled to the USA as part of Tsvangirai’s delegation to structure a twinning arrangement with the capital of Illinois State, among other business issues.

However, the mayor failed to meet the principals of either Chicago City or Illinois State, but said the trip was a success.

“The co-ordinator of the Prime Minister’s itinerary made us believe that they had tied up all the loose ends from the Chicago end. Be that as it may, we have got a foot in the door and we shall pick up the pieces from there,” was quoted as saying in a local paper.

“Regrettably, Rahm Emmanuel, the Mayor of Chicago had a pressing engagement, which he had to attend to outside Chicago. In the circumstances, I gave my presentation on Harare and other promotional material about Zimbabwe to the Alliance of Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs for onward transmission to him,” he said.

During the September trip, Masunda met Cristal Thomas, the deputy governor of Illinois.

Then, Masunda said he expected a business delegation from Chicago to visit Zimbabwe, led by Jim Reynolds, chairman and chief executive officer of Loop Capital. - Eric Chiriga, Business Editor

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