Mineral-rich Zimbabwe has concluded a trade deal with Russia, in a bid to stimulate trade and economic interaction with the emerging economy and also generate the much needed foreign direct investment (FDI).
According to reports, Denis Manturov, Russian Industry and Trade Minister, and a business delegation including executives from Russian energy giant Gazprom, were in the state’s capital Harare, over the weekend, to sign trade agreements which will be overseen by bilateral business council to achieve co-operation..
Manturov commenting on the soon-to-be established council said it “will become a major stimulus for the development of trade and economic relations.”
He furthered, highlighting that Russian companies were seeking opportunities in mining, metallurgy, aircraft construciton, infrastructure, storage, processing of energy resources and power generation and distribution.
According to reports, Zimbabwe’s Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu assured the business delegates.
“If your executives identify areas of interest, we will engage them and facilitate everything they might require”, he quipped.
Zimbabwe’s mineral resources remains largely untapped, with an unbelievably low rate of inflation – 2.8% just behind Mauritius’ 2.7% in the region- the country has recently stepped up the pace in search of FDI in the economy.
According to reports, Russian officials visited Zimbabwe in April and all but secured an inter-governmental agreement on stimulating investment and defence, including one requiring state-owned Russian Technologies to supply military helicopters in exchange for mineral rights to platinum deposits in Darwendale near Harare.
Trade between Russia and Zimbabwe have remained low but has increased from $1.5 million in 2009 to $5.5 million in 2011.