The expectation by Denmark comes after targeted measures were suspended for eight individuals whom the EU had said were among those behind human rights violations in Zimbabwe. The EU imposed the targeted measures on 192 individuals and 87 corporations after expressing grave concerns over human rights abuses in Zimbabwe in 2002.
President Robert Mugabe, his wife Grace and the Zimbabwe Defence Industries remain on the list.
In an exclusive interview with The Zimbabwean, the chargé d’affaires at the Danish embassy, Erik Brogger Rasmussen, said it was high time relationships between Zimbabwe and the EU were put back onto an even keel.
“The process has been going on for some time and we hope that we will be able to normalise the relations. I think it will be beneficial to both sides because no country would like to be in conflict with another country. We would like to have friendly rather than hostile relations,” said Rasmussen.
He said his country was eager to initiate increased development cooperation in Zimbabwe. Following Zimbabwe’s adoption of a new constitution last year, Denmark pledged to increase its aid to Zimbabwe.
The European country further pledged to spend around $35m a year until 2015 in promoting democracy and economic growth as well as in reducing poverty.
Rasmussen said, however, that Zimbabwe needed to have clear economic policies as a way of attracting foreign direct investment in the country.
He said that, as a result of uncertainty arising from Zimbabwe’s economic policies, most foreign investors had developed cold feet as far as investing was concerned.
“We have investors who are looking for opportunities worldwide but at the moment they do not find Zimbabwe to be an attractive destination. This has nothing to do with the targeted measures but it is because of uncertainty in national policies,” he said.
Zimbabwe’s indigenisation policy, which compels foreign-owned firms with a minimum shareholding of $500,000 to cede 51 per cent of their shareholding to locals, has been blamed for the lack of foreign direct investments in the country.
European countries are of the view that the policy lacks clarity and creates uncertainty among investors who fear losing their millions if they invest in Zimbabwe.
Zanu (PF) has, however, defended the policy, saying that it seeks to economically empower the previously marginalised black majority.Post published in: News