THE United Kingdom is focussed on supporting Zimbabwe exports of horticultural products like blueberries and peas, Minister for Africa Andrew Mitchell said yesterday.
Responding to a question on what Britain was doing to promote economic cooperation with Zimbabwe, Mitchell said: “The UK is working to increase trade and investment with Zimbabwe to help drive economic growth, create jobs and reduce poverty. Through our Economic Partnership Agreement, Zimbabwean companies have duty-free and quota-free access to the UK market, and we are particularly focused on supporting Zimbabwean exports of horticulture produce like blueberries and peas, increasing choices for UK consumers.
“We are also working to reduce barriers to UK investment in renewable energy and our technical assistance to strengthen the policy environment is unlocking new investment into independent solar power projects.”
On aid to Zimbabwe in view of the recent elections, Mitchell said his country was continuing to support the people of Zimbabwe especially by empowering women and girls, but this aid was not channelled through the Zimbabwe government.
“The UK is committed to supporting Zimbabwe and its people on a path to long-term, inclusive, and resilient development, democracy, and prosperity,” he said.
“The UK’s development assistance addresses the priorities in the UK’s International Development Strategy and is aligned with the Government of Zimbabwe’s National Development Strategy. In particular it is focused on empowering women and girls, promoting global health, responding to humanitarian needs whilst building resilience to climate change, protecting biodiversity and delivering honest reliable investment.
“No UK ODA is channelled directly through Government of Zimbabwe systems. Instead, we work primarily through multilateral organisations, notably United Nations agencies, as well as international NGOs and the private sector.” – InsiderZim