Interview: Zimbabwe expects to deepen cooperation with China, says minister

2021-12-15 06:05:16 GMT2021-12-15 14:05:16(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

by Tichaona Chifamba, Zhang Yuliang

HARARE, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe-China relationship started a long time ago and Zimbabwe wants to strengthen its existing cooperation with China, a Zimbabwean minister has said.

Expressing gratitude to China for helping the country combat COVID-19, Zimbabwe's Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, said that China's aid, including the provision of vaccines, has "put the country among the leaders on the continent in vaccinating against the pandemic."

"Because (of) we know, trust and belief in China, we went straight to our good friend. We have managed and we are continuing to vaccinate our people, so we are very excited. We are very grateful," she told Xinhua.

Zimbabwe is also eager to partner with China in the joint production of COVID-19 vaccines, she said.

In terms of trade and investment, the minister said that it is of great importance to her country to expand bilateral cooperation in this field.

Noting more trade can help reduce poverty among Zimbabweans, Mutsvangwa said "this is a very good win-win situation."

Meanwhile, the minister said Zimbabwe, with its fertile soils, is willing to take its partners on board to boost agriculture.

"We want to make agriculture a business," she said, voicing hope that more soya beans will enter the Chinese market.

"All what we need is capital, tractors, equipment and expertise ... It would be very good for Chinese companies to come into the country," she said.

Mutsvangwa stressed the need to invest in the country's renewable energy, calling on more Chinese companies to invest in the field of solar energy.

On China-Africa cooperation, Mutsvangwa congratulated China on the outcomes of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) recently.

She said Zimbabwe regards FOCAC as the only viable way to change its economy, especially in the face of economic sanctions imposed by the West.

FOCAC is also in alignment with the African Union's Agenda 2063 and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, she added.

Noting FOCAC is very beneficial and it will "go a very long way," the minister said. "Our relationship with China started a long time ago. We have deepened it." Enditem