Zimbabwean Businesses Embrace Global Partnerships

Zimbabwe Urges Businesses to Embrace Global Partnerships Post U.S. Sanctions Lift

by Oluwatosin Alabi

Zimbabwean businesses are being encouraged to explore cooperation opportunities with global partners in the wake of the termination of broader U.S. sanctions on the southern African country. The call to action was made by Zimbabwean Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Frederick Shava, during the opening of the Zimbabwe-U.S. Business Forum in the capital city, Harare, on Monday.

A nine-member delegation from the Global Opportunities Committee of the Atlanta Black Chambers (ABC), a non-profit organization based in Atlanta, United States, is currently in Zimbabwe. Their mission? To explore investment opportunities in the country. This trade and investment mission, the first since the U.S. administration terminated its sanctions program on Zimbabwe last week, is part of a regional tour that includes South Africa and Zambia.

Minister Shava highlighted the significant benefits expected to accrue to Zimbabwe through this trade and investment mission. These benefits include the opportunity to leverage ABC’s experience to change the narrative about Zimbabwe as an investment destination for American businesses. “Let’s take full advantage of the newly stated United States government position that American businesses are free to engage Zimbabwean business entities,” Shava emphasized.

On March 4, U.S. President Joe Biden terminated a sanctions program that had been in force since 2003. However, it’s important to note that new sanctions were imposed on 11 individuals, including Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, as well as three entities, over alleged involvement in corruption and human rights abuses.

Last Wednesday, Charge d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Zimbabwe, Laurence Socha, stated during a media briefing that the new sanctions position presents an opportunity for American businesses, financial institutions, and investors to reconsider Zimbabwe’s markets.

According to a statement issued by the Zimbabwean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the ABC delegation is expected to meet several key industry leaders as they explore investment opportunities in real estate, manufacturing and supply, insurance, ICT, renewable energy, mining, and trade and investment sectors.

During the business forum on Monday, Minister Shava expressed Zimbabwe’s keen interest in strengthening and broadening its export market to the United States. Despite the previous sanctions, Zimbabwe witnessed its exports to the United States increase from $700,000 in 2020 to an impressive $12.1 million in 2022. However, Minister Shava acknowledged that despite this significant increase, Zimbabwe’s exports remain very low and undiversified, failing to fully reflect the potential of both economies.

Obert Mpofu, Secretary-General of the ruling ZANU PF party in Zimbabwe, suggested that the revision of sanctions appears to be an attempt to resume business with Zimbabwe. The move signals a positive shift in relations and opens doors for mutually beneficial partnerships.

As Zimbabwean businesses embrace these new opportunities, the country stands at a crossroads—a chance to redefine its economic landscape and foster global collaborations. The termination of U.S. sanctions serves as a catalyst for growth, and Zimbabweans are poised to seize the moment.

Source: NewZimbabwe.com

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