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EU Supports Private Sector for More Trade and Investment in Zimbabwe

EU Supports Private Sector for More Trade and Investment in Zimbabwe

This well-attended event brought together representatives from EU businesses with a presence in Zimbabwe.

The European Union Delegation in Zimbabwe successfully hosted a high-profile EU Private Sector Dialogue Seminar in Harare, shedding light on key opportunities for trade and investment between Zimbabwe and the EU.

This well-attended event brought together representatives from EU businesses with a presence in Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe private sector players, key Zimbabwean private sector organizations (CZI, ZNCC, WABAZ, NBCZ), banker associations (BAZ), investment promotion agency (ZIDA), and trade promotion agency (ZimTrade) for a productive discussion aimed at unlocking Zimbabwe’s economic potential through enhanced EU-Zimbabwe collaboration.

In his address, Ambassador of the European Union H.E. Jobst von KIRCHMANN emphasized, “We are committed to deepening our economic partnership with Zimbabwe through more trade and investment based on the EU – Zimbabwe Economic Partnership Agreement and our Global Gateway initiative. Today’s seminar underscores our collective efforts to overcome challenges and seize opportunities for sustainable development and mutual prosperity. Together, we strive to create an environment conducive to investment, innovation, and inclusive growth in Zimbabwe.”

EU-ESA Economic Partnership Agreement: Benefits and Challenges Addressed

Many participants were unaware of the full benefits offered by the existing EU-ESA Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), a powerful tool for boosting trade between the EU and Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe’s export potential. Participants gained a deeper understanding of the duty-free access it offers to the vast EU market, alongside EU support for regional integration and capacity building for export readiness. Open discussions addressed any challenges faced by the private sector in accessing the EPA’s full benefits.

EU’s Global Gateway Initiative

The event also shed light on the EU’s ambitious Global Gateway initiative, a plan designed to unlock €150 billion in public and private investments in Africa. This investment plan prioritizes sustainable development, focusing on areas critical to Zimbabwe’s growth, such as infrastructure, renewable energy, and climate change mitigation. While Zimbabwe has already benefited from certain Global Gateway investments such as the Kariba dam rehabilitation and environmental programs, other specific programs are under development.

Unlocking Investment Potential through Public-Private Dialogue

Recognizing the importance of a strong business environment, the seminar fostered a valuable dialogue on how the EU can best tailor its support to address Zimbabwe’s specific challenges. Discussions addressed concerns about debt sustainability and highlighted the positive steps Zimbabwe is taking to improve the investment climate.

EU Financial Instruments Ready to Support Viable Projects

While large-scale sovereign lending is currently on hold because of Zimbabwe’s arrears of 17,7 billion usd, the seminar showcased the EU’s commitment to supporting private sector investments in Zimbabwe by highlighting a range of financial instruments available through Development Financial Institutions (DFIs) like the European Investment Bank (EIB). These instruments offer de-risking guarantees for private sector investments, making Zimbabwean projects more attractive to European investors.

Detailed information was provided on the EIB’s successful €40 million Private Sector Facility, including eligible sectors and project qualification criteria, which will be useful as there are plans for other future private sector facilities. Representatives from CABS, First Capital Bank, and NMB Bank, beneficiaries of the EIB facility credit lines, were present to answer questions from potential borrowers.

Collaboration is Key to Economic Growth

During the seminar, two panels were convened, focusing on trade and investment respectively, providing a comprehensive platform for stakeholders to exchange insights and perspectives. Discussions centred on identifying challenges and opportunities for enhancing EU-Zimbabwe economic cooperation, with a particular emphasis on addressing barriers to investment and trade.

Speaking at the seminar, Ambassador von Kirchmann emphasized the importance of collaborative efforts in overcoming challenges and maximizing opportunities for economic growth in Zimbabwe.

See Also

The EU Private Sector Dialogue Seminar served as a stepping stone towards a stronger economic partnership between the EU and Zimbabwe, paving the way for a more conducive environment for investment and mutual growth.

Further Africa



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