Top Chinese firms brandish US$ salaries in crisis-hit Zim

USD dollar notes

CHINA’s 80 biggest firms with a footprint in Zimbabwe said at the weekend that they were ready to pay United States dollar-indexed salaries for skilled workers and professionals.

This emerged during the Chamber of Chinese Enterprises in Zimbabwe (CCEZ)’s first job fair, which attracted more than 1 700 job seekers.

In a statement to NewsDay Business yesterday, CCEZ said the fair was crucial in giving job seekers an impression of the scale of opportunities that have been unlocked by Chinese investors.

Chinese investors have invested in a cross-section of Zimbabwean industries including mining and manufacturing.

But most of their interventions have been overshadowed by controversy over investment in prohibited areas and low wages.

But the CCEZ says it has in its membership some of the most law-abiding enterprises listed on Chinese bourses.

Shanel Liu, vice-chairperson of CCEZ said its members were paying between US$200 and US$1 200 per month.

“Most of us are Chinese-listed companies and we operate in diverse sectors of the Zimbabwean industry including agriculture, mining, telecommunication, tourism, power generation, health and medical, manufacturing,” she said.

“Taken in the context of the global economic downturn, unemployment rate in Zimbabwe continues to rise at an unprecedented rate.

“Some positions on offer include: geologist, information technology, electrician, mechanic, plumbers, drivers, interpreters, administration, human resources, marketing and management.”

She said creating jobs was key to boosting economic growth, reducing poverty, increasing social stability and assisting businesses to grow in a healthy environment.

“The creation of the job fair came after the realisation that there is a huge gap between the supply side of employment and the demand on the side of the industry, with supply being greater than demand.

“The platform was created as a meeting point for those seeking employment and the employers. We believe this will be an effective platform to link the employers and employees,” she told NewsDay Business.

“This is a great opportunity especially for the young graduates to plan their future employment paths.

“Our Chinese enterprises have invested in Zimbabwe in a wide range of industries, and after the successful launch of the job fair, we would like to make it a long-term event that keeps providing more jobs for Zimbabwean job seekers and boosting the local economy.”

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