South Korea wants hand in Zimbabwe projects

SEOUL Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was in Seoul for a three-day official visit.

Chung Un-chan met Tsvangirai, and was full of praise for the governments work in getting the economy back on its feet. At the end of their talks, the two countries signed a bilateral investment promotion protection agreement (BIPPA). Chung Un-chans office said, in a statement, that he wanted the two countries to co-operate in trade and development.

According to the statement, Tsvangirai welcomed the request and pointed to Koreas success in rural development as one way in which Zimbabwe could benefit. There were also opportunities to co-operate in education. Tsvangirai also asked for more South Korean investment in infrastructure construction, energy and resources development. The official business began with a breakfast meeting with a delegation from the Korea Trade Promotion Council. On the agenda were investment opportunities in Zimbabwe.

Tsvangirai then visited the National Memorial Cemetery created for those who died in both the Korean War of independence and the Vietnam War. The Prime Minister laid a wreath in memory of the veterans. Tsvangirai, the highest-ranking Zimbabwean government official to visit South Korea since the two countries forged diplomatic ties in 1994, also made a courtesy visit to President Myung-bak Lee at his official residence.

Myung bak-Lee said Tsvangirais visit to South Korea had been special, meaningful and highly successful.

Mr Prime Minister, I commend you for your role and leadership in the inclusive government and I am reliably informed that Zimbabwe is on the mend and I hope the country will reclaim its rightful position as a beacon of hope and success in Africa, said President Lee. Ahead of the G20 summit to be held in Seoul in November, President Lee said he would visit African countries to promote the setting of a new agenda to respond to new challenges.

He will not be coming to Harare, though, despite an invitation from Tsvangirai as hos schedule had already been settled.Tsvangirai gave an account of the economy and Zimbabwes land reform. He reiterated the need for co-operation in improving infrastructure through public private partnerships and the Economic Co-operation Development Fund (ECDF). He said the country was now moving from land redistribution to productivity and security of tenure.

Tsvangirai was accompanied the energy minister, Elias Mudzuri; the science and technology minister, Heneri Dzinotyiwei, and Zimbabwes ambassador to Japan, Stewart Comberbach.

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