MINSK, (BelTA) – Belarus-Zimbabwe trade has increased by 15 times since 2018. There are plans to further expand trade and create joint ventures. Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Piotr Parkhomchik made the statement as he met with Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa, BelTA has learned.
Piotr Parkhomchik said: “Despite the large distance between our countries we maintain most friendly relations. Over the course of your presidency cooperation between our countries was invigorated significantly. In my opinion, it has reached brand new heights. Belarus and Zimbabwe have substantially expanded trade and economic cooperation, bolstered political ties, established humanitarian cooperation, and expanded the legal base. Nevertheless, the existing considerable potential of our bilateral relations can be substantially expanded.”
The official remarked that the Zimbabwean economy is dynamically developing and lives up to present-day challenges. “Belarus is also encountering stronger economic pressure from the West. We are sincerely grateful to Zimbabwe for words of support,” the deputy prime minister added.
Piotr Parkhomchik went on saying: “Trade turnover between our countries is actively rising: it has increased by 15 times since 2018. We have something to offer to our Zimbabwean friends. I am convinced that a broad range of Belarusian products made by mechanical engineering industry, petrochemical industry, medical industry, and food industry will be potentially in demand on the Zimbabwean market. We believe that mutual trade should be balanced, that it is a two-way street. This is why while aiming to increase and diversify its export, Belarus welcomes an increase in reciprocal deliveries of the goods we need. We do not restrict ourselves to trade. We are jointly working on implementing long-term investment projects in agriculture, power engineering, automobile transport, vehicle maintenance. The sides are also working on implementing projects to set up Belarusian-Zimbabwean joint ventures.”
A joint mining venture is already operational near the city of Mutare. Work is in progress on considering a project for setting up an enterprise to make and process agricultural goods and meat goods in Zimbabwe with assistance of the Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Ministry of Zimbabwe and the agricultural holding company of the Belarus President Property Management Directorate. The approval of the document on building a 100MW solar power plant in a suburb of Zimbabwe’s capital city of Harare is in the final stage. A delegation of the Zimbabwean Transport Ministry is expected to arrive in Minsk soon in order to sign a memorandum of cooperation in setting up an automobile transport enterprise, the deputy prime minister of Belarus noted.
Piotr Parkhomchik reminded that the Belarusian side shipped vehicles, machines, and equipment to Zimbabwe in September 2020 within the framework of realization of the first stage of the program on mechanizing farming enterprises. Over 1,000 Belarusian tractors were shipped to Zimbabwe within the framework of the second stage of this program. “Work is in progress on a new contract on selling tractors and other agricultural machines. The sides have agreed the preliminary numbers: 3,500-3,700 tractors of various engine powers,” the official pointed out.
In his words, a contract with the Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Ministry of Zimbabwe is being successfully executed. The contract provides for selling 131 fire trucks, sets of spare parts for them, and for organizing comprehensive training of the ministry’s specialists in the area of fire truck operation and repairs. The first batch of 30 trucks is scheduled for delivery in January 2023. The Belarusian Emergencies Ministry will assist with training representatives of the Zimbabwean fire service how to operate the fire trucks in an emergency.
Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Piotr Parkhomchik was in Zimbabwe on 10-12 October on a business trip. He met with the head of state, representatives of various ministries, and representatives of the private sector. The current state of bilateral relations was discussed as well as matters concerning the development of the legal base. Practical avenues for advancing economic interaction were determined. The sides also exchanged opinions about the forthcoming schedule of joint events.