dr desire sibanda at mtp.jpgGovernment says it is finalising the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) with India to ensure increased investment inflows between the two countries.

The BIPPA between Zimbabwe and India was crafted in the early 90s and was signed in 1996 by the Indian government while Zimbabwe is yet to ratify the document which will pave way for increased investment inflows.

Addressing the Indian business delegation currently exploring various investment opportunities in the country, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Economic Planning and Investment Promotion, Dr Desire Sibanda said the BIPPA is being finalised.

Confederation of Indian Industry head of delegation, Mr. Sanjeev Agarwal said they are in Zimbabwe to explore business opportunities in all sectors of the economy through mutual cooperation, adding that the ratification of the BIPPA will increase more investment.

India Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Mr. Jyotiraditya Scindia said there is need for the business community to turn the visit into investment projects, adding that the Zambezi Water Project will get substantial amount of investment from India.

India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

Last year, India exported goods worth US$140 million to Zimbabwe with an investment of US$33 billion to Africa while it had foreign direct investment of US$27 billion under the same period.

US$245.5 billion of goods were exported to other countries while importing US$350 billion worth of products in 2010.

Meanwhile, government has assured the visiting Indian business delegation that Zimbabwe is a safe investment destination saying there are various investment opportunities in all sectors of the local economy.

The visiting Indian business delegation held a business meeting with government officials and the local business community in the capital to have an understanding of areas that require investment.

Briefing the delegates during a business conference dubbed, “Doing business in Zimbabwe: Investment Opportunities and Challenges” government ministers explained areas that need investment from agriculture, manufacturing and energy.

Indian ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr. Jeitendra Tripathi said close cooperation between the two countries is critical towards boosting economic growth, adding that despite the existence of illegal economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe, Indian firms have been operating in the country.

The relations between Zimbabwe and India have been strengthened over the years through the implementation of the Zim-Indo projects for small to medium enterprises with the availing of highly mechanised equipment and the link with the Harare Institute of Technology.