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28/04/2013 00:00:00
by NewZiana
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AGRIBANK has said the lifting of United States sanctions will allow the bank to access lines of credit to help boost support for the agriculture sector.

The US recently removed sanctions it had imposed on the Agricultural Development Bank (Agribank) and the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe.

Agribank divisional director for strategy, marketing and business development Joseph Mverecha told New Ziana that operating under sanctions was detrimental to operations as the bank lost millions of dollars through using third parties to conduct transactions.

"It is good news for us as we are now able to deal directly with our clients and conducting transactions without going through third parties.

"Being off sanctions brings us at par with our competitors," he said.

The US government passed the sanctions law the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act in 2001 and in 2003 effected travel bans and assets freeze on Zanu PF and government officials.

Last month the European Union (EU) also suspended sanctions on 81 Zimbabwean individuals and eight entities, but kept the Zimbabwe Mining Development Cooperation (ZMDC) under the embargo.

The US and its Western allies are moving to re-engage Zimbabwe in a development analysts have said were an indication that the sanctions had failed to achieve regime change.

Mverecha said Agribank would be able to access lines of credit as well as getting a partner for the privatization plan set by government.

"Being on sanction was an albatross on our neck because we lost vast business opportunities running into millions of dollars," he said.


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