China and Zimbabwe trade doubled

Trade between Zimbabwe and China has doubled to US$800 million in the last two years as ties between the two countries continued to grow. Speaking at a public lecture ahead of his departure following the expiry of his term of office Ambassador to Zimbabwe Xin Shunkang said during his tenure spanning two years and 10 months, the two countries had consolidated their economic relationship as well as strengthened political and social ties.

“Bilateral trade has increased from US$400 million to US$800 million during my tenure. “In 2010 it was US$600 million,” Ambassador Xin said presenting a paper on “Outlook of China’s Economy and Sino-Zimbabwe Relations”.

“I am sure at the end of the year, it will be over this figure.” One of the major trade commodities between the two countries is tobacco, where China is Zimbabwe’s biggest buyer of the golden leaf.

The Chinese government has also provided support through donations to various initiatives in the country worth over US$25 million since 2009, he said.

To cement relations, high-level visits including President Mugabe and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara visited China.

Ambassador Xin said Zimbabwe could take a cue on economic development from China, which has managed to transform its economy in the last 30 years to become the second largest in world.

He said among such lessons would be establishment of production and processing facilities in the country’s 10 provinces, with each one focusing on its own strengths such as cotton, tobacco or beef production.

Growth should not be focused on only one city but should be spread to other regions of the country, with those at advanced levels assisting those which are less developed as has happened in China, he said.

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