Mandaza Chikarango-Herald Correspondent
Zimbabwe and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) should cooperate more in various sectors of the economy, including the diamond and livestock value chains for the mutual benefit of people in both countries, Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said yesterday.
Investors from the UAE can also take advantage of the exciting incentives being offered by the Second Republic to start lucrative businesses for themselves.
She was speaking during the commemorations of the UAE’s 51th National Day in Harare.
“There is need for more cooperation in areas of agriculture and agro-processing industries targeting the UAE market,” said Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri.
“Our two countries can partner in livestock production for the mutual benefit of our people. The two countries can venture into a diamond cutting, polishing and selling partnership, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, and hotel and conference facilities construction.
“We are happy to note that trade between Zimbabwe and the UAE has been growing over the years.”
Total trade between Zimbabwe and the UAE grew exponentially to US$891 million in 2020 from US$832 million in 2019, as the two countries continued to deepen relations.
This year, Zimbabwe and the UAE signed several bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding to attract investments from the Middle East country.
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said Zimbabwe expresses its deepest gratitude to the UAE government, and Emirati donor agencies, for a donation of medical equipment worth US$1,5 million to Sally Mugabe Central Hospital in May 2018.
Another donation of medical equipment worth US$2 million was made to the same hospital in August 2019.
The UAE also donated humanitarian aid in two cargo planes towards the victims of Cyclone Idai.
In August this year, Zimbabwe received another consignment of medical supplies and personal protective equipment to fight the Covid-19.
UAE Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Dr Jassim Mohammed Mubarak Abdullah Al Qasemi, said they were keen to strengthen their position at the international level by giving priority to economic and commercial prosperity to its partners.
“The UAE leadership will continue to support pluralism and partnerships in efforts to reduce global tensions and enhance international cooperation,” he said.
“My country will also continue to pursue a foreign policy aimed at building on the common interests among the countries of the region in promoting peace, stability, prosperity and well-being of people.
“UAE has begun to conclude comprehensive economic partnerships agreements with strategic partners, as part of a long term strategy in its path of economic diversification and development of strong international partnerships.”
Dr Al Qasemi said through their distinguished relations with all Southern African countries, and in particular Zimbabwe, the UAE aspired to sign more economic agreements that will open new trade markets and economic cooperation between the two countries.
The event was also graced by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa and her husband, Cde Chris Mutsvangwa, who is chairman of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association.