Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Anand Sharma Meets his Counterparts from Zimbabwe and Namibia

The Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Shri Anand Sharma
The Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Shri Anand Sharma met Mr. M.C. Bimha, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Zimbabwe on the sidelines of the Partnership Summit 2014 in Bengaluru today. 

Both the sides noted that the present levels of bilateral trade and investment are much below the potential, and that there was a need for revival of Zimbabwe’s manufacturing sector, and greater value addition and beneficiation of natural resources, for Zimbabwe to increase the value of its exports. 

Shri Sharma put forward his views on cooperation in agro/food processing sector, gems and jewellery, Lines of Credit and various capacity building programmes. 

Shri Sharma was also briefed about the current status of USD 750 million iron ore deal between Essar and the Government of Zimbabwe. 

“Early satisfactory resolution of the pending issues would encourage other investors, especially from India to invest in mining and other sectors in Zimbabwe,” said Shri Sharma.

 Mr. conveyed that in the last two months, most of the issues have been addressed and conveyed the commitment to help Indian investors. 

Shri Sharma will be visiting Zimbabwe in first week of February. He said that both the sides will finalise long term agreement on supply of rough diamonds and establishment of a diamond cutting and polishing institute in Botswana. 

Both the leaders also reviewed the status of Line of Credit projects in Zimbabwe. India, in September 2012, approved a Line of Credit (LOC) worth USD 28.6 million for up-gradation of Deka Pumping Station and the River Water Intake System in Zimbabwe. 

The agreement was signed between Exim Bank and Zimbabwean authorities in June 2013 to implement the LOC. Water and Power Consultancy Services (WAPCOS), a Government of India PSU was appointed as Project Implementation Consultant for the project in November 2013. 

With these significant developments already in place, Shri Sharma expressed the hope that the LOC will be implemented expeditiously. 

Shri Sharma asked for a proposal from Zimbabwe for Indian Institute of Foreign Trade’s offer to conduct an Executive Development Programme on International Business in Zimbabwe. 

Shri Sharma also met Mr. Carl H G Schlettwein, Minister of Trade & Industry, Namibia and reviewed the progress of bilateral ties. 

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