Gumbo to boost Look East Policy

Zanu (PF) is confident that its Look East policy will aid the country’s economic recovery efforts amid speculation that Western countries’ rejection of the July 31 poll outcome will have disastrous implications.

Rugare Gumbo
Rugare Gumbo

Zanu (PF) spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said his party planned to intensify its Look East policy launched in 2003 after Western countries imposed targeted sanctions on members of the Zanu (PF) government.

In July, the Zimbabwe Investment Authority released figures that showed China was topping the list in terms of Foreign Direct Investment, with $100 million in the first five months of the year.

In second place was Malaysia with an investment of $11 million while South Africa and Israel invested $7 million and $2,6 million respectively.

Analysts said the development was a pointer to some form of success on Zanu (PF)’s Look East Policy although they said there is not much to write home about as the Zimbabwe-China economic relations had resulted in the Asian country getting far more out of the deal than Zimbabwe.

The analysts said the Look East policy had failed to increase capital inflows or boost local industries to create employment.

Gumbo said that it was impossible for western investors to pull out of the country as they had an interest in Zimbabwe’s resources.

“We are very confident that China will help to move our economy forward. We have signed a number of agreements with them regarding infrastructure, mining and also the manufacturing sector. With respect to India, we have very good business relations and we are not only talking of these two countries but we are also looking at other countries such as Brazil and Russia,” said Gumbo.

Gumbo defended cheap Chinese products that came under fire for their poor quality saying they had saved the country’s economy from further decline.

When asked about the issue of Chinese investors bringing their own labour, Gumbo said that “if there are any loopholes, we are going to look at that so that the issues are addressed”.

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