World Bank Praises Economic Reforms

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HARARE – The World Bank has praised the Government’s economic reforms for not only keeping Zimbabwe afoot, but registering the green shoots of economic stability and economic recovery.

The praise was delivered by Ms Marjorie Musonda Mpundu, World Bank country manager for Zimbabwe, after paying an introductory courtesy call on Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Ambassador Frederick Shava on Wednesday.

The reforms praised by the World Bank and the successes recorded on the economic front have been scored in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic that has ravaged the global economy.

“I just met the minister,” said Ms Musonda Mpundu.

“He welcomed me to Zimbabwe and expressed his desire to work with the bank and to continue collaboration with the bank and we have agreed on how we can work together with the Zimbabwean Government and the World Bank going forward.

“The Ministry of Finance has done a great work in stabilising the economy.

“A number of reforms have been undertaken and we will continue working with the Government on the next set of reforms to stabilise the economy and move forward into the next fiscal year in the future.

“My hope is that we could re-engage with Zimbabwe, clear arrears to multilaterals and others and put Zimbabwe back into the international financial institutions.”

Minister Shava congratulated the World Bank country manager for Zimbabwe on her appointment, saying he hoped her tenure in the country will further enhance the relations between Zimbabwe and the World Bank.

He commended the World Bank’s support during the Cyclone Idai devastation and the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, and also talked of Zimbabwe’s debt clearing strategy.

“I would like to acknowledge Zimbabwe’s outstanding financial obligations of US$1,525 billion as at end December 2020, to the World Bank,” said Minister Shava.

“As you know, the Government made payments to the World Bank amounting to US$4 million by end of December 2020 before the payments were unfortunately suspended in the first quarter of 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As you may be aware, we resumed token payments during the first quarter of 2021.”

Minister Shava also received the Ambassador of Tanzania Professor Emmanuel Mbennah for a courtesy call on Wednesday.

The envoy talked of the importance of expanding trade between the two countries.

“We talked about how we can expand trade and commerce between the two countries and there are prospects of Zimbabwe sending a trade mission to Tanzania in the near future to which we look forward,” said Ambassador Mbennah.

Minister Shava expressed appreciation of the excellent relations between Zimbabwe and Tanzania which dates back to the time of the liberation struggle.

He expressed his desire to see the further enhancement of bilateral cooperation between the two countries through increased reciprocal trade and investment.

Minister Shava stressed the need to speed up preparations for the next Joint Permanent Commission and Cooperation (JPCC), which will be hosted by Tanzania, and suggested the inclusion of private sector participants at the next meeting, as well as the holding of exhibitions to showcase goods and services from both countries.