Zimbabwe’s ratification of the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (Bippa) it signed with India in 1999 will facilitate increased trade volumes between the two countries, an Indian minister has said.
Although India has already signed the Instrument of Ratification and the Ratification of the Agreement, Zimbabwe is still to put pen to paper, thus trade between the two countries remains depressed.
India’s Union minister of Commerce Industry and Textiles Shri Anand Sharma recently met Vice-President Joice Mujuru, who is currently in the Asian country, and both leaders expressed satisfaction after peaking $125 million in bilateral trade in the financial year 2010-2011.
“India’s exports to Zimbabwe amounting to $114 million and imports from Zimbabwe amounting to $11 million.
“Bilateral trade has shown an impressive growth, increasing from $64,02 million in 2006-2007 to $125 million in the year 2010-2011, almost doubling in the last four years,” said Sharma.
Sharma said India had a “special interest” in co-operation with Zimbabwe in the areas of mining, power generation, railway, ICT and agricultural sector in Zimbabwe.
Sharma also highlighted India’s interest in education and capacity building programmes in Zimbabwe through the India-Zimbabwe SME project and sponsorship of Zimbabweans on study programmes under the ITEC and other courses.
“In fact the tripod on which the India-Africa relationship stands today with the resonance of South-South co-operation is that of technology, trade and training. We have created a three-tiered co-operation at Pan-African, regional and bilateral levels with the continent of Africa,” said Sharma.
Zimbabwe’s request for $100 million line of credit to revamp and rehabilitate the health sector is still under consideration after a three-member team of experts from Hospital Services Consultancy Corporation Ltd visited the country between January 15 and 20 for a feasibility study of Parirenyatwa group of hospitals.