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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Egyptian firms eye the Zimbabwean market

Story by Abigirl Tembo

SEVERAL Egyptian companies are keen to invest in Egyptian firms eye the Zimbabwean market Zimbabwe after fruitful engagements between Zimbabwean government officials and Egyptian investors in Cairo.

Egyptian entities involved in aquaculture, power generation and agriculture among a host of other companies have shown interest in setting up shop in Zimbabwe as relations between Harare and Cairo continue to grow.

The companies with interests met Vice President General Retired Dr Constantino Chiwenga and his delegation comprising officials from Zimtrade, Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA) and other government ministries to discuss the modalities of investing in Zimbabwe.

“We are one of the top 100 companies in the world in the field of aquaculture, we are glad to corporate with the Zimbabwean government to make some projects in aquaculture in Zimbabwe, our target is to elevate the standard of living for the people in Zimbabwe by creating a lot of job opportunities in the field of aquaculture and to find a new and cheap clean protein.

“This way we can make the protein cheaper in Zimbabwe and also help Zimbabwe export finishing products for aquaculture all over the world including Yoruba and America which we as Evergreen are familiar with and I believe our projects will be a real sustainable development project creating more job opportunities adding to the national reserve fund for Zimbabwe as well as elevate the standards of living for the people,” said
Evergreen Egypt United Chairman and CEO, Dr Adel Almuslimany.

“We invited our counterpart from Zimbabwe’s private sector to visit Egypt and we discussed cooperation in some sectors specifically agriculture and mining and also how we can start a programme for companies to visit Zimbabwe to support the tourism sector as well as supporting a lot of programmes between both countries as well as investment, we also discussed how we can increase our trade balance between both countries,” said the chairman of the Egyptian African Business Association, Dr Yousrey El- Sharkawi.

The Deputy Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Mr Willard Manungo assured good returns to potential investors.

“We have met a wide-ranging spectrum of the business community who want to partner with us
mindful that we all have the COMESA trade framework that should make it easier to facilitate trade and business between Egypt and Zimbabwe, they also wanted assurances of the macroeconomic environment and assurances over the remittance of profits they would have made if they invest in Zimbabwe and the Honourable Vice President assured them that once they come in we have got rules that are being overseen by the Zimbabwe Investment Agency to ensure that it is a win-win arrangement and providing the necessary guarantees that their investments are safe and also providing the necessary guarantees that through the one-stop investment facility, the issues of bureaucracy are long gone and therefore if they come in it will be a smooth flowing process.”

The Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency (ZIDA) which is also part of the delegation is taking a leading role in disseminating information on different investment opportunities in Zimbabwe.

“Zimbabwe is open for business, as ZIDA it is one of our key roles to make sure that our processes, our procedures and all the regulations are lined up to make sure that investors willing to come into the country have a smooth process. What is more interesting is that ZIDA has gone digital meaning that all our applications are now being done online our turn round has significantly improved and now we are calling for seven days meaning that in that time, you can apply and your license can be issued.

“The engagements were quite varied from those wanting to go into agriculture to those wanting to go into energy and definitely we are going to take a leading role and we are also going to participate in those together with other stakeholders to make sure that we make follow-ups to the engagements that we have had to make sure that all the discussions become more fruitful,” said ZIDA’s chief facilitator,  Mr Never Nyemudzo.

Egypt has a relatively open economy that heavily relies on international trade with the country’s total exports in 2022 valued at US$48 billion, an increase of about 18% compared to the previous year.

According to the Trade map, Zimbabwe exported goods worth US$10.4 million in 2022 down from the US$20.4 million recorded in 2021.

Zimbabwe’s main exports to Egypt are tobacco and Oil seeds.

From Egypt, Zimbabwe imported goods worth US$24 million in 2021 from US$11.1 million recorded in 2019.

Major imports from Egypt include cereals, electrical machinery, and plastics among others.

The trade volumes are expected to pick up following the recent engagements between the two countries.

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