Harare(New Ziana) – Rwanda is poised to become one of Zimbabwe’s key trading partners as relations between the two countries blossom both at government and private sector levels, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Wednesday.
Already over 60 delegates from Rwanda are part of the four-day trade and investment conference in Harare where several agreements in industry and energy have been signed.
The trade and investment conference, was organised by Zimtrade and the Rwanda Development Board, and is a direct fruit of the Second Republic’s engagement and re-engagement agenda under which Zimbabwe is seeking partnerships with countries it did not strongly relate with under the old administration a move underscored by the President.
“Now is the time for greater trade with Africa. Rwanda will be one of our greatest trading partners! For the benefit of both our peoples,” he tweeted.
Officially opening the trade and investment conference on Monday, President Mnangagwa said the meeting had added impetus to the two county’s quest to strengthen commercial ties.
“We have the collective responsibility to shift the historical trend which was characterised by low trade volumes between our two friendly countries despite the existence of huge potential,” he said then.
The conference is being held under the theme “Explore, Invest, Export.”
The two countries signed several cooperation agreements in areas including Industry and energy.
President Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe was also upgrading its airports and road networks among others to facilitate smooth flow of trade and to rapidly domesticate key aspects of the African Continental Free Trade-Area, which seeks to improve intra-African trade.
“This includes reviewing investment related legislation, upgrading of our borders into one stop border posts, and the upgrading of our airport facilities, as well as road and rail network to facilitate smooth flow of goods,” he said then.
“This demonstrates our desire as a country to make Zimbabwe an attractive investment destination on the continent and across the world.”
Zimbabwe is upgrading the Harare to Masvingo to Beitbridge road, a major trade artery in the Southern African Development Community, while upgrading is also being undertaken at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport to increase human and cargo handling capacity.
The Beitbridge border post is also undergoing a huge transformation as part of efforts by government to enhance trade.
Zimbabwe also boasts of several reforms that the government has undertaken to improve the country’s ease of doing business including setting up the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency and introducing sector specific incentives such as tax holidays and import duty exemptions.
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