chris mutsvangwa 04.01.11.jpgNorton town is set to become the centre of investment as plans are underway for an economic boom in the town through the increase of direct foreign investment.


The strong ties that exist between Zimbabwe and China are set to continue and benefit the Norton community as plans are underway to make the town a Special Economic Zone.


Former Zimbabwe Ambassador to China, Ambassador Christopher Mutsvangwa said the government of Zimbabwe, through relevant ministries, has engaged the Chinese government for such a set up.


“We have formally engaged the Chinese government through the Ministry of Local Government and Urban Development. Norton has vast resources and it is high time that those resources are tapped into for the welfare of locals,” Ambassador Mutsvangwa said.     


In an interview with ZBC News, Norton Town Council Chairman, Mr Albert Zinyemba applauded the move, saying such an arrangement will attract investment and resuscitate industry in the town, which is depressed with the shutdown of Hunyani Pulp and Paper.


A Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is a region that has economic and other laws that are more free market oriented than national laws.


The category SEZ covers a range of more specific zones such as Free Trade Zones and Export Processing Zones among others.


The goal of such zones is to increase foreign direct investment.


China introduced SEZ under Deng Xianping in the 1980s and the most successful SEZ is Chenzhen, which has developed from a small village into a city with a population of over 10 million in 20 years.


At the Forum on China/Africa Cooperation held in Sham el-Sheikh in Egypt, one of the resolutions passed was for China to establish 10 SEZs in Africa.