Britain, Zim scale-up bilateral trade

HARARE - Bilateral trade between Zimbabwe and Britain totalled $73,6 million, according to consultancy firm British Expertise, in the eight months to August last year.

Catriona Laing, the British ambassador to Zimbabwe, urged her fellow countrymen to invest in the country despite deteriorating economic conditions.

“There are large scale opportunities for inward investment in energy and extractives, as well as in infrastructure, manufacturing and financial services,” she said in a report entitled Doing Business in Zimbabwe - A guide for UK companies released last month.

The envoy noted that United Kingdom firms remain the partner of choice for many Zimbabweans, given historic links, a shared legal system and a compatible business culture.

This comes as Britain — the colonial master of Zimbabwe until 1980 — has had fraught relations with President Robert Mugabe’s government, battling over rights abuses and London-backed sanctions.

Although the European nation expressed reservations on Zimbabwe’s controversial 2013 elections that extended Mugabe’s rule on the country, Britain has been urging other developed countries to invest and help revive Zimbabwe’s economy.

Laing said between 2014 and 2015, there has been two UK trade missions to Zimbabwe and her embassy was exploring scope for follow up.

“To realise its potential, the government of Zimbabwe needs to do more to improve the business environment,” she said adding that investors were keen to support empowerment but need assurances that their assets were secure, and that profits can be repatriated.

“The promised clarification of indigenisation policy by the government of Zimbabwe is welcome and if well-handled could help attract investment,” Laing said.

A number of international firms, particularly but not only from BRICS countries, have begun to make serious investment into Zimbabwe given high return opportunities.

“A growing number of UK companies including Avanti Communications, Info Tech Financial Technologies and British Environment Resource Management have won tenders in Zimbabwe; Atlas Mara Co-Nvest has made significant investment in 2014,” read part of the report.

Faced with a liquidity crunch, sclerotic growth and decades of crisis and under-investment, Zimbabwe has increasingly sought to tap investors wherever they can be found.

Comments (4)

Catriona Laing is a treacherous poisonous chalice that is happier bootlicking and praise singing Zanu pf cadres than sponsoring civilized values, the rule of law and human rights. She remains silent on the systematic ethnic cleansing and looting by her Zanu pf heroes. The British knew all about Gukurahundi yet said and did nothing to expose the heinous evil of Zanu pf. The British are just like Zanu pf – no remorse or shame for their actions. Of course these are symptoms of a psychopathic government. Squalid Zanu pf deadbeats love her because they know she has tons of aid funds to dole out to her chosen “admirers”. They also love her because the British do not audit how her handouts are squandered. How long will it be before the British Government wakes up to the polarity and crass stupidity of their representative in Zimbabwe?

Gamuchirai Chinamasa - 14 July 2015

Anybody who invests in Zimbabwe is either endowed with a pygmy brain or is involved in a Zanu pf styled scam. One has to wonder how many active brain cells Catriona Laing has ever had. Catriona Laing is an idiot for not telling these alleged investors about the thieving indigenous empowerment laws. The remedy is DO NOT INVEST IN ZIMBABWE

Dyke Lang - 14 July 2015

Morgan Machikiti found at 117/119 Rotten Row is a Zanu pf thieving lying crook.

Morgan Machikiti - 15 July 2015

"The envoi noted that the United Kingdom shared a compatible business culture" This is very true and we can see that Robert G. Mugabe is the spiritual son of Cecil J. Rhodes.

Dr Who? - 15 July 2015

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