By Alois Vinga
AGRICULTURE Minister, Anxious Masuka Thursday convinced investors from the United Arab Emirates to be part of Zimbabwe’s highly ambitious $8.2 billion agribusiness project stressing the country was now a favourable investment destination.
He made the pitch during the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – Zimbabwe Food and Agribusiness Virtual Forum, which is a follow up to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s state visit to Dubai in 2019.
The forum was hosted by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry to exchange notes on the vast potential business investments existing in Zimbabwe’s agriculture sector.
Addressing potential investors at the forum, Masuka promised the UAE investors they had a lot to benefit economically by investing in the agriculture sector in Zimbabwe.
“The Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy aims to increase agricultural output to US$8.2 billion by 2025 and to grow exports to US$4.2 billion by 2025. We envisage export growth for flowers, fruits, vegetables and nuts,” he said.
The minister said Zimbabwe also anticipates accelerated exports of tobacco, tea and sugar, among many others this year and for the increased export of value-added produce and products.
“I, therefore, urge you to explore and cultivate win-win opportunities for the mutual benefit of your companies, and ultimately our two countries,” said Masuka.
Speaking at the same forum, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman, Majid Saif Al Ghurair said Zimbabwe has potential to supply food to the UAE.
“Our relationship with Africa has opened our eyes on how to further grow our business relationships especially when it comes to food security.
“Zimbabwe’s food basket makes it a good partner to fulfill the Gulf’s food needs. Dubai has since changed the legislation giving foreigners 100 % ownership of the companies even outside the free zone area,” he said.
Al Ghurair highlighted that there are a lot of investors willing to go to Africa and inject capital in the agriculture sector and indicated his interest in working on improving the transport and logistics in Zimbabwe to ease shipping of perishable products in the landlocked country.