TRADE volumes between Zimbabwe and China doubled between 2010 and 2013 to $1,1 billion, the outgoing Chinese economic and commercial counsellor Han Bing said yesterday.
Speaking at his farewell reception yesterday, Bing said in 2010, trade volumes between the two countries stood at $562 million.
“So that means in these three years we have doubled our trade co-operation,” he said.
“And what’s more in these three years? In our bilateral trade, Zimbabwe enjoys trade surplus every year.”
Bing said in 2013 Zimbabwe’s trade surplus to China was $274 million with the biggest Chinese imports from Zimbabwe being tobacco.
China has been dominating tobacco imports from Zimbabwe since 2009.
Bing said Chinese investment to Zimbabwe has been on the increase since 2010 where it stood at $33,8 million before rising to $460 million in 2011 and over $600 million in 2013.
“So in these three years, especially in 2011 and 2013, Zimbabwe ranked number one in the whole of Africa in respect of attracting Chinese Investments,” he said.
Bing said most Chinese investors in Zimbabwe were still at the investing phase and were yet to reach the profit phase.
“They are still weak hens and need help to getting stronger. So I would like to ask our Zimbabwean friends to give them support, to feed the hen fat that they can lay more eggs and contribute more to the Zimbabwean economy,” he said.
Bing confirmed that China was working on providing loans to Zimbabwe that would be secured by mineral resources.
“It’s just an idea both sides are working on and how much the proceeds would be, and the funding. We will see how much loans can be granted to Zimbabwe,” he said.
Bing said the Export-Import Bank of China had already granted $1 billion of loans to the country for infrastructure projects such as Victoria Falls Airport enlargement, Kariba South Power Station, Harare water and NetOne projects.
Bing said during his tenure in office his government offered emergency food donations in rice and wheat worth $14 million to Zimbabwe which was the biggest donation by the Chinese government. Bing has been working in Zimbabwe since March 2011.
He is leaving for Egypt and is being replaced by Li Yaohui.