Ambassador Paul Chikawa

Zimbabwe-China relations are poised for growth this year as the two countries are determined to focus to an all directional, multi-layered and wide ranging cooperation.

Zimbabwe’s ambassador to China says the onus is upon Zimbabweans to define the country’s core interests and work together to realise the development agenda.

The elevation of Zimbabwe-China relations to a comprehensive strategic and cooperation partnership has enhanced key cooperation plans in areas of industrialisation, agricultural modernisation and infrastructure development.

2019 is going to see physical manifestations of conversations that have been going on between Zimbabwean and Chinese officials according to Harare’s top diplomat to Beijing, Ambassador Paul Chikawa.

During the Forum for China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) meeting held in Beijing in September last year, Zimbabwe communicated its wish to be included among African offshore clearing centres for the Chinese currency, the renminbi (RMB) and Ambassador Chikawa confirmed plans are now at an advanced stage.

The ambassador noted that China has been one of the most important anchors of Zimbabwe’s economic sector in recent years by buying tobacco produced in the country among other agricultural products and this year several investment deals in agriculture and mining are almost complete.

China has funded and provided loans for a number of infrastructure projects, including the construction of a new 650-seater parliament building which is expected to take 2½ years to build and will cost about US$140 million, and the expansion of Hwange Thermal Power Station that will add another 600 megawatts into the national grid when completed in 2022, among other projects.