Zimbabwe Impresses Singapore Businessmen

The Singapore Business Federation has commended Zimbabwe’s improving economy and pledged to improve trade relations between the two countries.

This follows a recent visit by a Zimbabwean business delegation to that country on capital-raising initiatives.

The two-day visit to Singapore was part of a six-day business mission to East Asia, led by Deputy Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Minister Samuel Undenge to seek new trade and investment partnerships in Asia for local businesses.

SBF chief executive officer Mr Ho Meng Kit said Zimbabwe was showing marked economic improvements since the adoption of the multi-currency regime.

“We believe Zimbabwe is one of the most promising countries on the African continent.

“We have taken note that the ascension of the new unity Government in 2009 has brought about a series of reforms which have reversed a decade of economic contractions to 5,9 percent real growth in 2010.

“Some of the notable reforms include the introduction of a ‘multi-currency system’ where almost all business transactions are now in United States dollars rather than local currency. This makes it easier for Singapore companies to do business in Zimbabwe,” he said.

Most African countries are increasingly looking to markets in the East due to the improved value propositions offered in Asian markets.

Mr Kit said although official trade between Singapore and Zimbabwe stood at a modest S$21,6 million in 2010 – a marginal increase of 7,61 percent from S$20,1 million in 2009 – there was scope for further growth in this area.

It has also been noted that most trade volumes between Singapore and Zimbabwe are captured under South Africa as most such business transactions are routed through South Africa, showing the limited interactivity between businesses in the two countries.

Trade relations between Zimbabwe and Singapore are anticipated to grow this year following pledges made by the SBF to facilitate exchanges between the two partners through its arm, the Africa Business Group (AFBG).

Mr Kit said the AFBG would assist Singapore companies to make inroads into the local market and play a part in the country’s developmental needs.