THE United Kingdom is actively seeking to enhance trade relations with Zimbabwe and make substantial investments in the country’s expansive renewable energy sector. Mr. Andrew Mitchell, the UK’s Minister of State in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, has expressed the UK’s commitment to removing obstacles that have hindered optimal trade between the two nations.
This renewed interest from the UK comes in the wake of the successful engagement and re-engagement efforts led by President Mnangagwa, which have led to a thaw in the previously frosty relations between Zimbabwe and its former colonial power.
In response to a question posed by Ms. Ruth Jones, the Shadow Minister for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs, regarding plans for economic cooperation between the UK and Zimbabwe, Mr. Mitchell informed the House of Commons this week that the UK is actively working to open up markets for Zimbabwean agricultural products.
He stated, “Through our Economic Partnership Agreement, Zimbabwean companies enjoy duty-free and quota-free access to the UK market. We are particularly focused on supporting Zimbabwean exports of horticultural products like blueberries and peas, thereby expanding options for UK consumers. Additionally, we are working to eliminate barriers to UK investments in renewable energy, and our technical assistance is aimed at enhancing the policy environment, thereby attracting new investments into independent solar power projects.”
Mr. Mitchell, a British politician and Member of Parliament for Sutton Coldfield since 2001, is a member of the Conservative Party. He previously served as the MP for Gedling from 1987 to 1997.
Analysts have noted that the UK’s interest signifies its determination not to be left behind, as other major global powers such as China, Russia, and India have been actively investing in Zimbabwe.
“We are now operating in a multi-polar world, and Britain is well aware that global competition for natural resources and investments represents the new economic and financial battleground,” commented political analyst Mr. Moses Kuvarega.
Kuvarega added that the 2023 harmonized elections in Zimbabwe are essentially a closed case, and the world is moving forward in collaboration with the Zanu-PF-led Government.
“It doesn’t take a genius to understand that the next harmonized elections in Zimbabwe will take place in 2028. The world has moved on, and it’s no surprise that Britain is already eyeing investments in the energy sector. Green and renewable energy are the prevailing buzzwords in the energy industry,” Mr. Kuvarega emphasized.
Numerous British companies are eager to tap into diverse business opportunities in Zimbabwe, with investments exceeding US$5 billion being proposed in the energy sector alone. Additionally, there is substantial interest from other firms in various key sectors of the economy.
Source – The Herald