HomeLocal NewsBeitbridge to be an economic zone

Beitbridge to be an economic zone

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ECONOMIC Planning and Investment Promotion deputy minister Samuel Undenge yesterday told a visiting South African delegation that there were plans to convert Beitbridge Border Post into an economic zone to facilitate trade and movement of goods between the two trading partners.

Report by Khanyile Mlotshwa, Staff Reporter

Undenge made the remarks at the ongoing Fourth Investment and Trade Initiative to Zimbabwe meeting at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair exhibition centre in Bulawayo. The meeting was attended by South African and local businesses.

“As a ministry, we are working on developing economic zones around the country,” Undenge said.

“At the moment, we are looking at Beitbridge. An economic zone is a system whereby companies that move to the region enjoy preferential treatment. China successfully employed the economic zones system. As you are aware, Beitbridge is close to South Africa and is also close to Bulawayo. I am told that in Musina, South Africa will also develop an economic zone.”

South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry deputy director-general Sipho Zikode said his country was also working towards turning Musina into an economic zone.

“At the moment, we are busy finalising the economic zones strategy which should go to parliament very soon,” he said. “After that, we will start the feasibility studies. There are 12 such regions to be set up in South Africa across the provinces. One of the areas that have been identified is Musina. It will be an agro-processing and mineral beneficiation economic zone. If the feasibility studies are right, they (Musina) have a huge economic catchment.”

Meanwhile, SA Trade and Industry deputy minister Elizabeth Thabethe said: “Two-way trade between the two countries stood at R19,2 billion in 2011 compared to R16,5 billion in 2010 and R14,8 billion in 2009.”

South African ambassador to Zimbabwe Vusi Mavimbela advised SA investors wanting to invest in Zimbabwe “to do so now and not later because Zimbabwe is a sleeping giant which is beginning to emerge”.

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