GERMANY-BASED Zimbabwean businessman George Marange has claimed that he has signed over 200 business deals with German investors keen to launch various business projects in Manicaland province and other parts of the country.
BY CLAYTON MASEKESA
Marange, who has been in Germany for the past 37 years, told NewsDay on Friday that he sealed the deals soon after President Emmerson Mnangagwa unveiled his economic turnaround strategy following his takeover from former President Robert Mugabe.
“I have already signed about 200 agreements with various German companies to bring development home,” Marange said.
He added that one of the companies, Agco, was targeting to import fresh farm produce through sustainable livelihoods projects from Africa, Zimbabwe included.
“The project will be launched in Zimbabwe soon. We have many fruits in Manicaland and other areas around Zimbabwe and this will revive direct export trade of fresh farm produce to Germany,” Marange said.
This came amid reports that a South African motor car manufacturer had also expressed interest to set up a vehicle assembly plant in Mutare’s Darlington industrial area.
Large-scale international coffee farmers have also reportedly shown interest in coming back to revive coffee farming in Manicaland.
Provincial Affairs minister Monica Mutsvangwa hailed the move, saying she had also engaged some local businesspeople and Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to start up business projects in the country.
Mutsvangwa said: “There is need to pursue high-speed programme execution and think outside the box on development.”
She added that she was aware of the challenges of low capacity utilisation in the manufacturing sector and low foreign direct investment.
“For meaningful development to come, policy consistency and rule of law has to prevail. This is what the new government will quickly address to assure investors, both foreign and domestic, protection of their investments,” Mutsvangwa said.
“Sometimes we got it wrong as we politicised everything. But as the new minister, I have opened my door to all and sundry irrespective of one’s racial background, political affiliation and religious creed. We want to develop Manicaland together.”