BusinessSectorsZimbabwe and Russia sign trade deals


Posted on Tuesday, 09 October 2012 12:21

Zimbabwe and Russia sign trade deals

Trade between Russia and Zimbabwe increased from $1,5 million in 2009 to $5,5 millionThe scramble for Zimbabwe's vast but largely untapped minerals intensified this week with Russian clinching lucrative deals that analysts fear would see President Robert Mugabe's broke government mortgaging the resources.


The southern African country is in dire need of foreign direct investment as investors have stayed away for the past decade citing Mugabe's alleged misrule.

On Saturday, Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov and a business delegation including executives from Russian energy giant Gazprom and Renova Group of Companies, a diversified company with interests in cross-cutting sectors flew to Harare to seal some of the deals.

The two countries concluded trade deals which officials said will also see the establishment of a business council between the two countries.

Economic Planning Minister Tapiwa Mashakada says the deals were part of government efforts to promote trade and investment with the BRICs group of emerging economies which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Manturov was quoted saying the business council for cooperation "will become a major stimulus for the development of trade and economic relations".

if your executives identify areas of interest, we will engage them and facilitate everything they might require

He said Russian companies were looking for opportunities in the mining industry, metallurgy, aircraft building, construction of infrastructure and power engineering facilities, as well as transportation, storage and processing of energy resources.

Trade between Russia and Zimbabwe increased from $1,5 million in 2009 to $5,5 million last year.

In meetings with the Russians, Zimbabwe's Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu told his guests that "if your executives identify areas of interest, we will engage them and facilitate everything they might require".

Of late, the Chinese, Indians, and South Africans have been brokering multi-million dollar deals in various sectors of Zimbabwe's economy ranging from mining, agriculture and energy to manufacturing.

In July, a report carried by the Russian Kommersant business daily and online publications said officials from the former superpower visited Zimbabwe in April and all but secured an inter-governmental agreement on stimulating investment and defence, under which a state corporation, Russian Technologies, would supply military helicopters in exchange for mineral rights to platinum deposits in Darwendale near Harare.

The reports said Ruschrome Mining, a company jointly owned by Zimbabwe and the Russian government's Centre for Business Cooperation with Foreign Countries, received a 25-year licence for the exploration and development of platinum deposits.

The Russians are currently actively involved in gold and diamond mining at Charleswood Estate, a farm expropriated by government from Movement for Democratic Change treasurer-general Roy Bennett.

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