06-12-18 by Spotlight Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe, China sign 1-bln-USD MoU for setting up steel plant

 

HARARE— Zimbabwe and China on Monday signed a 1-billion-U.S.-dollar Memorandum of understanding (MoU) for establishing a steel plant that can produce up to 2 million tonnes of steel per annum.

The MoU is among several deals signed at the start of a four-day Zimbabwe-China Business Forum that is being attended by a high-powered Chinese delegation from Zhejiang Province.

The delegation is being led by Che Jun, secretary of Zhejiang Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Che said the delegation was in Zimbabwe to scout for business and investment opportunities to help Zimbabwe industrialize its economy.

The Zhejiang delegation’s trip to Zimbabwe follows President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s visit to China in April, during which several other investment and cooperation agreements were signed between the two countries, which elevated their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation.

Che said Zhejiang was keen to inject investment in Zimbabwe to enable it to meaningfully participate in the Belt and Road Initiative.

A wealthy coastal province of China, Zhejiang’s trade with Zimbabwe stood at 160 million U.S. dollars in 2017, accounting for 12 percent of China’s total trade with Zimbabwe.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development Munesu Munodawafa told Xinhua that the deal includes establishment of a 600-megawatt thermal power station to supply power to the steel plant that will be based in the Midland Province of Zimbabwe.

He said feasibility studies for the project will start on July 1 followed by a roll-out plan.

The project is being spearheaded by a subsidiary of Chinese firm Tsingshan in Zimbabwe, Afrochine, which is already into ferrochrome production.

“We anticipate that when it’s fully operational, this project will create up to 3,000 permanent jobs and produce up to 2 million tonnes of steel per year over the life of the project which we have put at about 25 years,” said Munodawafa.

“Tsingshan is one of the top five producers of stainless steel in the world. We believe we have chosen the best and we believe we will get the best out of them,” he said.

Opening the forum, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa urged investors from the two countries to take advantage of the elevation of ties between the two countries.

He also invited more Chinese firms to exploit Zimbabwe’s vast investment opportunities.

“We look forward to massive investment by Chinese companies that will see Zimbabwe fulfilling its vision of becoming a middle-income economy by 2030,” he said.

He also invited Chinese financial institutions to establish in Zimbabwe and offer affordable financial solutions to the country as it pushes with its economic revival agenda after years of international isolation.

Xinhua

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  • Zimbabwe and China on Monday signed a 1-billion-U.S.-dollar Memorandum of understanding (MoU) for establishing a steel plant that can produce up to 2 million tonnes of steel per annum.

    The MoU is among several deals signed at the start of a four-day Zimbabwe-China Business Forum that is being attended by a high-powered Chinese delegation from Zhejiang Province.

    The delegation is being led by Che Jun, secretary of Zhejiang Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

    Che said the delegation was in Zimbabwe to scout for business and investment opportunities to help Zimbabwe industrialize its economy.

    Ever since the late 1990s when Zimbabwe broke up all economic relations with the IMF and WB, President Mugabe has openly wooed China with his “look East” economic policy. In the last 20 years Zimbabwe’s economic has gone into total economic meltdown, China has never lighted a finger to help.
    Indeed, China has been quick to join in the wholesale looting that has been going on and thus accelerated Zimbabwe’s economic decline.

    China knows that President Mnangagwa’s “Zimbabwe is open for business!” was dead in the water from the word go. Investors did not believe him when he said Zimbabwe had change and all that “new dispensation” nonsense. They knew it would take a lot more than the removal Mugabe to transform the Zanu PF from a ruthless dictatorship into a democratic party. The junta confirmed its status as a ruthless dictatorship when the regime refused to implement any reforms to ensure free elections.

    China is only stepping in as the alternative source of the desperately needed foreign investment needed to kick start Zimbabwe’s economic recover to take full advantage of Zimbabwe’s failure to impress western investors. By remaining Zimbabwe’s only financial backer, regardless of whether any of these mega deals materialize or not, China will retain its economic dominance and political control of the country.

    Ever since Zimbabwe attained her independence, China has always played a major role in helping Zanu PF rigging elections, they are doing the same this year with renewed zeal. This US$1 billion deal is more about politics that economics.

    It is high time the people of Zimbabwe wake up to the political machinations of nations like China and demand that the political interference in Zimbabwe’s political affairs stopped forthwith! Zimbabwe is in this economic and political hell-on-earth because the nation has been stuck with this corrupt, incompetent and vote rigging Zanu PF regime for the last 38 years. Unless we do something to stop the vote rigging, we will never get out of this hell-hole. It is totally unacceptable that China has played a major role in landing us into this hell-hole and, worse still, continues to play the same role in keeping us in there to this day!