Zimbabwe Seeks to Boost Trade and Investment at Arab-Africa Summit

President Mnangagwa to lead delegation to Riyadh next month

by Motoni Olodun
Arab-Africa Summit

Zimbabwe is set to market its vast opportunities for trade and investment at the upcoming Arab-Africa Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, next month. The summit, which will bring together leaders from 66 Arab and African countries, aims to enhance cooperation and development between the two regions.

President Mnangagwa will lead the Zimbabwean delegation to the summit, where he will engage with international leaders and potential investors. He will also seek to strengthen bilateral relations with Saudi Arabia, which has expressed interest in supporting various sectors in Zimbabwe, such as industry, finance, agriculture, fishing, mining, transportation, regional security, and energy.

According to Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Ambassador Fredrick Shava, Zimbabwe is keen to showcase its potential and attract more investment from the Gulf region. He said Zimbabwe will also set up its embassy in Riyadh before the end of this year as part of its efforts to deepen diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia.

The Arab-Africa Summit is a platform for dialogue and partnership between the two regions, which share historical, cultural, and economic ties. The summit also addresses common challenges and opportunities, such as peace and security, sustainable development, climate change, and food security.

The first Arab-Africa Summit was held in Cairo in 1977, followed by Sirte in Libya in 2010, Kuwait in 2013, and Malabo in Equatorial Guinea in 2016. The fifth summit was initially scheduled for 2019 in Saudi Arabia but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The summit comes when Africa seeks to diversify its trade and investment partners, especially in the wake of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which aims to create a single market for goods and services across the continent. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, which include Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, are among the major investors in Africa, with interests in sectors such as energy, infrastructure, agriculture and tourism.

Zimbabwe hopes to benefit from the GCC’s financial resources and expertise and its strategic location as a gateway to Asia and Europe. Zimbabwe also hopes to tap into the GCC’s renewable energy potential as it seeks to transition to a green economy and reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.

Zimbabwe has been implementing various reforms to improve its business environment and attract more foreign direct investment. After years of isolation and sanctions, the country has also been pursuing a re-engagement policy with the international community. The Arab-Africa Summit is an opportunity for Zimbabwe to showcase its progress and potential and foster mutual understanding and cooperation with its Arab and African partners.

Source: The Herald

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