US strengthens Zim trade ties

BULAWAYO - Bruce Wharton, the American Ambassador to Zimbabwe, has praised Harare for its positive trade relations with Washington over the past 15 years despite seemingly frosty relations.

In an address at the Zimbabwe International Business Conference, Wharton said Zimbabwe and the US had been working hand-in-glove for long and the results had been good.

“We are happy to be part of this year’s ZITF as we put to light how the two countries have managed to work together in most sectors like health where the USA is the leading provider of bilateral HIV and Aids assistance,” he said.

“Data for 2000 to 2012 show that Zimbabwe had a trade surplus with USA in eight of the 13 years, that is 2000-2006 and 2008.”

He said the data also revealed that total trade between the two countries grew by an average annual rate of 16 percent between 2004 and 2008.

“USA has a strong partnership with the ministry of Health and Child Care (MOHCC) where USA funding has enabled the country to access essential human resource capacity to promote the country ownership of the national HIV and Aids response,” he said.

A US booth also provided information to parents and students about educational opportunities in the country which boasts over 4 200 accredited universities and colleges.

“There are currently over 1 300 Zimbabwean students in USA pursuing various academic and professional disciplines, including 18 Fulbright scholars pursuing fully-funded PhD studies in a wide range of fields such as biotechnology, applied mathematics, media and journalism.

The two countries have always worked together peacefully and will continue to do so,” he said. Counsellor for Public Affairs, Karen Kelly said the US continued to promote the country’s economic recovery and highlights opportunities for trade and investment.

“In line with the ZITF theme, New Ideas to New Heights, the US is participating through offering information about innovative health partnership and service delivery that serves to encourage new ideas and joint achievements between two countries,” Kelly said.

Comments (2)

Bruce Wharton was only being diplomatic. There is much trade between USA and Zim. Next time he should be giving absolute figures. Trade worth, say, $8million between nations is nothing to write home about. It is the USA that is proving aid of all sorts to Zim. The USA is virtually running all social services such as schools, clinics and food aid through its donor agencies. If the USA withdraws its donor support there would gnashing and grinding of teeth in Zimbabwe.

Bruce Lee - 25 April 2014

Correction (2nd sentence): There isn't much trade between USA and Zimbabwe.

Bruce Lee - 25 April 2014

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