The Egypt-Zimbabwe Business Forum, held during the Intra-African Trade Fair, attracted numerous investors interested in investing in the southern African country.
Zimtrade’s business forum, oversubscribed, aligns with President Mnangagwa’s efforts to attract local and international investors to explore the country’s vast investment opportunities.
The forum aligns with his 2017 mantra that Zimbabwe is open for business and is actively engaged in a re-engagement drive.
Zimbabwe’s Minister Fredrick Shava, represented by Mrs. Rudo Faranisi, was the highest-ranking official at the forum, alongside the Chief Director for Economic Cooperation, International Trade and the Diaspora.
Minister Shava highlighted the forum as a chance for the two countries to enhance their economic relations, emphasizing the importance of the business sector in their economies’ development.
“The event provides a platform for our two countries to discuss ways to upscale innovation in order to promote business and industry in our countries,” he said.
Minister Shava said President Mnangagwa and his counterpart, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil El-Sisi had already underscored the need for the two countries to enhance economic cooperation, particularly in trade and investments.
He said the Second Republic, under the leadership of President Mnangagwa, has provided a platform for the private sector to interact and engage with like-minded states, investors and businesses through the long-term strategic goal of transforming the economy into an upper middle-income society by 2030.
“I therefore implore players in the private sector, in both Zimbabwe and Egypt to boost trade exchange by complimenting and harnessing the efforts of our two Governments,” said Shava.
According to Jim, Zimbabwe provides an array of investment opportunities in infrastructure development in the building and construction of roads, bridges, houses, and shopping malls.
He said there are also opportunities in technology, agriculture, mining and manufacturing.
ZimTrade CEO Allan Majuru highlighted the country’s vast opportunities in agriculture, particularly blueberry production, and the production of exotic leather products.
“If you want good land, if you want good climate, come to Zimbabwe,” said Mr Majuru.
He said Zimbabwe also has good supply windows to the international markets which gives it a competitive advantage.
“Collaborations between Zimbabwean products and fashion buyers, retailers and designers in Egypt can create leading products that are globally competitive,” said Majuru.
Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency (ZIDA) Chief Executive Officer Tafadzwa Chinamo said his office is ready to facilitate a smooth passage to potential investors.
“Once an investor is established in Zimbabwe, we ensure that their journey or doing business in Zimbabwe continues to be smooth,” said Chinamo.
Mohamed Safwat, Egypt’s Deputy Assistant Minister for African Affairs, highlighted Zimbabwe’s significant agricultural and resource potential, urging for joint promotion.
He emphasized the significant need for mutual knowledge sharing and assistance in industrialization between the two countries to benefit their people.
Dr. Sherif El Gabaly, a major fertilizer producer in Egypt, expressed his positive experience in Zimbabwe during a recent visit. He said his company is nearing the commencement of fertiliser manufacturing in Zimbabwe through a public-private partnership with Chemplex.
“Zimbabwe is a land of opportunities and I feel confident about that.That is why we are looking forward to building this fertiliser factory in Zimbabwe together in cooperation with the Zimbabwean Government,” said Dr Gabaly.
Dr Gabaly confirmed that his company has submitted all necessary paperwork and is currently awaiting a response from Zimbabwe’s authorities to proceed with the investment with Chemplex.
Dr. Gainmore Zanamwe, Acting Director of Afreximbank, stated that the pan-African lender is prepared to facilitate trade and investment between the two nations.
“We believe we have an excellent opportunity to actually work together to facilitate trade. At Afreximbank we are now that conduit, we understand the risk in Zimbabwe and we have now developed trade and finance instruments that will assure Egyptian business people going to Zimbabwe,” he said.
Other investors expressed interest in wheat exports and cement bricks production.
Mr Majuru, Mr Chinamo, Mrs Faranisi, and Dr Gabaly addressed questions on logistics, infrastructure, and currencies.