BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA
GOVERNMENT says there is huge potential for increased co-operation in the ICT, energy, mining and the pharmaceutical sectors with India.
Speaking at the commemoration of the 71st Republic Day of India, an annual national holiday held every January 26 in that country, Foreign Affairs deputy minister David Musabayana said India was a key ally.
“Relations between our two countries dates back centuries and Zimbabwe is determined to deepen and strengthen these relations. Much attention will be on improving economic activity between our two countries. Zimbabwe is looking forward to witnessing enhanced trade and economic co-operation for the mutual benefit of both nations and peoples,” he said.
“There is huge potential for increased co-operation in the ICT, energy, mining and the pharmaceutical sectors. We take opportunity of this celebration event to invite the Indian business community to take advantage of the investment opportunities in our newly-established special economic zones.
“We look forward to further strengthening of our co-operation in the area of human capital development. The Indian government has been a key ally of Zimbabwe in promoting human capital development through provision of post and undergraduate scholarships and technical training courses for civil servants under its ITEC [Indian Technical and Economic Co-operation] programme”.
ITEC was initiated by a decision of the Indian Cabinet on September 15, 1964 as a bilateral programme of assistance by the government of India.
This came as India has remained one of government’s major bilateral partners.
In 2019, lines of credit were extended to the energy sector with the goal of establishing a platform for a sustainable energy supply.
Zimbabwe has received donations of drugs from India, which have helped boost stocks in the country at a time these medicines are scarce.
“India and Zimbabwe continued to remain engaged in 2019 with exchanges at several ministerial levels and high-level business delegations. India also continues to support Zimbabwe in our development partnership and capacity building endeavours,” Indian ambassador to Zimbabwe, Rungsung Masakui said.
“They include three projects in the energy sector, technology centres (waterfalls and HIT), supply of equipment and medicines, training programme with 2019 slots, scholarships etc.”
He said new programmes in capacity-building specific to Zimbabwe had been added this year in the areas of the Zimbabwe government’s devolution efforts, ICT and agriculture.
Major Indian investments in Zimbabwe include Varun Beverages Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd, which manufactures and distributes Pepsi products in Zimbabwe and oil manufacturer, Zimgold.