ZIMBABWEAN companies can take advantage of the current high growth trajectory of the Indian economy, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu has said.
Naidu was in Harare as part of a three-nation African tour that also includes Botswana and Malawi.
He said India and Zimbabwe have shared a very cordial relationship that dates back to the 17th century when they were trading in metals, minerals and textiles, however, the economic ties between the two nations have not fully reflected their immense potential.
Bilateral trade between the two nations stands at just over US$230 million and investment at US$500 million, which is “far below the potential”.
“There are natural synergies and complementarities between the two economies and we need to tap them for our mutual benefit.
“Zimbabwean companies can take advantage of the current high growth trajectory of the Indian economy,” he said while addressing the India-Zimbabwe Business Forum.
India, one of the fastest growing major economies in the world, with a current growth rate of 8.2% is on course to become a US$5 trillion economy by 2025. The country has recently become the 6th largest economy in the world with a GDP of US$2.6 trillion.
“Indian companies could form partnerships in Zimbabwe both for the domestic economy and for the wider Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA),” Naidu said.
Key areas with potential for two-way trade and investment engagement include mining, equipment manufacturer, information and communication technology, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, food processing, auto components, medical devices, defence production, infrastructure and tourism sectors.
Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sector is key to India’s economy and, since Zimbabwe’s economy is also largely based on the SME sector, it can benefit from India’s experience, said Naidu.
Inviting Zimbabwe companies to set up their business in India, Naidu quoted the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business 2019’ report which said that India, which advanced to the 77th place in the global ranking, is now the region’s top-ranked economy.
“Starting a business was made easier through consolidation of multiple application forms and the introduction of a Goods and Services Tax (GST),” the report stated.
“India is changing rapidly. The business environment is changing for the better. The archaic regulations are being dismantled. Seamless processes are being introduced,” Naidu said.