Beijing, China — MININGREVIEW.COM — 06 July 2009 – A Zimbabwe government official has appealed to Chinese companies to invest in Zimbabwean mines, asking them to ignore the Southern African country’s recent troubles, and to strike now while the iron is hot.
Zimbabwe deputy ambassador here Taonga Mushayavanhu urged Chinese companies attending a mining conference to invest in his country, which had deposits of platinum, gold and diamonds, among other minerals.
“Now we have stability and security,” he said. ‘The government of Zimbabwe recognises the importance of the mining industry in its economic recovery programme, and realises that the economic turnaround cannot be possible without foreign investment. That’s the reason why we are talking to you “’ trying to entice you to come in. There are better opportunities at this stage than down the road when competition is much stiffer,” Mushayavanhu added.
Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change in February formed a fragile coalition administration with President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF to end a long-running political crisis and a decade of economic ruin. Now Zimbabwe is asking the world for help for its devastated economy, and says it needs US$10 billion (R80 billion) to rebuild dilapidated infrastructure and ease a 90% unemployment rate.
Mugabe has tried to boost economic ties with Asian countries such as China and Malaysia. Beijing and Chinese companies have pledged tens of billions of dollars to Africa in loans and investments, mostly to secure raw materials for the world’s fastest-growing major economy.
China’s trade with the continent has jumped by an average 30% a year this decade, reaching nearly US$107 billion (R856 billion) in 2008.
Last week, Tsvangirai said Zimbabwe had secured US$950 million (R7.6 billion) in credit from China to help rebuild its economy “’ the biggest offer from a single country since the unity government was formed. But on Friday, Zimbabwe Finance Minister Tendai Biti told Reuters that no agreement had been reached with China on the credit line.