By ZBC Reporter
BRITISH Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Her Excellency Melanie Robinson has paid a courtesy call on Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Retired Lieutenant General, Dr Sibusiso Moyo.
Speaking to the media after the meeting, Ambassador Robinson said she had a frank discussion with the Honourable Minister as Britain pushes through the final phase of leaving the European Union.
“I had a good meeting with Honorable Minister SB Moyo. This was an opportunity to meet I think for the last time before the UK enters its final transition of leaving the EU. It was also an opportunity to talk about some opportunities between our countries, we have agreed on new trade agreements that will provide free and open access to Zimbabwean trade into the United Kingdom,” she said.
During the meeting, the two parties also had an opportunity to talk about both political and economic reforms, which the new dispensation has embarked on.
“We also reflected on revelation broadly and we had a very frank conversation on where we are, on the reform proposals that the President set out 3 years ago. We talked about areas of progress, we talked about areas where the UK is very much supporting Zimbabwean people particularly around health where we provide 130 million Pounds around COVID-19 19, around education and Humanitarian Aid. We also reflected on some concerns that the UK has, we have concerns on Human rights, media freedom, rule of law and encouraged the Minister of Foreign Affairs to keep driving forward on reforms to make more progress on the political reforms which the President committed to,” she said.
On trade, the British Ambassador said she hopes that as the UK leaves the E.U trade between London and Harare will improve.
“Trade between Zimbabwe and the UK has been open under the EU, it just that we now have a separate trade agreement and that is now an opportunity for us to widen and deepen in the future. One of the most successful products in the United Kingdom is Blueberries, but there are many products that find themselves in the shelves in the UK. Indeed we have a project with Zimbabwean farmers to help them meet UK standards and help them access markets and we look forward to see exports from Zimbabwe growing and growing,” she said.
Under Brexit, the UK is expecting to access new markets including Africa with Zimbabwe targeting to improve trade ties, with only 4.9 million US dollars in exports to the UK since 2017 versus 396 million US dollars in imports over the same period.
By ZBC Reporter