OUTGOING Indonesian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Eddy Poerwana says Zanu PF’s Look East policy has the capacity to jumpstart the economy despite growing criticism from other quarters.
In an exclusive interview with NewsDay in Harare yesterday, Poerwana said the policy initiative clearly demonstrated President Robert Mugabe’s wisdom.
“Surely it’s a policy full of high wisdom and sharp notion on what roles countries from the East could contribute to the efforts of Zimbabwe in its development,” Poerwana said.
“The policy is not merely a policy or alternative to replace the role of Western countries in the past. It is a policy of how Zimbabwe can expand its relations towards the eastern part of the world.
“The eastern countries have capabilities to contribute from financial, technological and technical as well as managerial skills.”
Zanu PF launched the Look East policy in 2004 to fill in the vacuum created by the withdrawal of Western countries over Zanu PF’s alleged electoral fraud and gross human rights violations.
The policy has, however, come under fire from some analysts and opposition parties for being lopsided in favour of China.
Poerwana said it was too early to dismiss the trade policy saying it had long-term benefits for Zimbabwe.
“Zimbabwe has just woken up from its long time of economic difficulties and now Zimbabwe is already on the way back to the path towards improvement. It is too early and very irresponsible to make such a judgment,” said Poerwana.
He expressed hope that Zimbabwe would open its market to more products from Indonesian manufacturers, saying the development would boost trade between the two countries.
Said Poerwana:“Our hope in the future is that more manufactured goods from Indonesia can enter the Zimbabwean market while Zimbabwean products can also enter the Indonesian market as well.
“Zimbabwe has a lot of goods which could be offered to Indonesian consumers while from Indonesia we have everything from garments, drinks and electronic appliances.”