Indian investors set for Zim

HARARE - A delegation from India’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry is expected in Zimbabwe at the end of this month to explore trade and investment opportunities.

Zimtrade — a body created to facilitate trade and promote investment in Zimbabwe — said the team was interested in various sectors including energy, agriculture, health, ICT, mining, industry and commerce, among others.

“They will be in Harare from the May 29-30 2014,” it said, adding that a seminar will be held followed by one-on-one business meetings.

Zimtrade said the Indians would also hold meetings with key public sector institutions.

India is a fast emerging global economic player, characterised by a diverse economic base that transcends from traditional village farming to modern agriculture, a wide range of advanced industries and a multitude of services.

With a population of 1,26 billion, a nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $1,76 trillion and a GDP per capita of $4 000, the Asian nation stands out as a buoyant economy with huge prospects to absorb imports.

However, trade between Zimbabwe and India is still heavily tilted in favour of the latter.

Zimbabwe exported $7 million worth of goods to India in 2011, with the figure dropping by 68,2 percent to $2,2 million in 2013.

India exported $168, 4 million and $150,3 million worth of goods to Zimbabwe in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

The exports increased to $156,7 million last year.

Drawing from India’s global imports, Zimtrade said Zimbabwe could export iron, steel, aluminium, copper , edible fruits and vegetables as well as sugar, among other value added products.

The trade body noted that the Indian enterprise sector and more specifically its small to medium scale enterprises (SMEs) could provide good benchmarks for technology transfer and knowledge sharing. “The Indian benchmarks are significant towards revitalising our own SMEs sector as well as the beneficiation of our raw materials,” it said.

This comes as last year India extended a $26 million line of credit to Zimbabwe earmarked for improving power generation in the southern African country.

Jeitendra Tripathi, the Indian ambassador to Zimbabwe, at an India Zimbabwe Chamber of Commerce conference held in November last year, said his country had no plans to be a donour to Zimbabwe, but a trade partner.

Recently, Zimbabwe and India-based Essar Africa Holdings Limited entered into a “definitive” agreement, under a $750 million deal, aimed at reviving iron processor Ziscosteel (now NewZim Steel).

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