Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa says the country’s 2018 budget, which will be presented tomorrow, will send a clear message to the world that Zimbabwe is open for business.
The new administration in Harare has pledged to re-engage the international community and rebuild the southern african nation’s crumbling economy.
Decades of isolation by international lenders coupled by reluctance to reign in on excessive spending by Robert Mugabe’s government had lead to a complete collapse of the economy.
Zimbabwe has no currency of its own and has resorted to issuing treasury bills to finance government activities, according to the central bank as at June 30, $2.5 billion treasury bills were in stock.
Last year government accumulated a current account deficit of $ 55.8 million.
Chinamasa told reporters today, after signing an agreement for a $153 million Chinese loan to upgrade Zimbabwe’s main airport that government was facing difficulties in paying up its debts, even those owed to China.
Zimbabwe’s external debt currently stands at $10.96 billion.
“We have run into difficulties in the past year or so. We have not been able to service our loans for reasons we all know and I’m happy to say the Chinese government understands the difficulties we are facing. This is why we call them all weather friends,” Chinamasa said.
Harare has been at the receiving end of several loans from Beijing through the ChinaExim bank.
“As a country we are now going to shape our economy and build our capacity to honor our international obligations. I am aware it cannot be done overnight but it is a process and I hope that tomorrows budget will show the world that we are serious.”
“We are back in business to rebuild our economy so that we are able to build capacity to honor our obligations not only to the Chinese but to the rest of the multilateral lenders.” – The Source