Story by Oleen Ndori, Foreign Desk Editor
The 2023 World Economic Forum gave Zimbabwe an opportunity to table its economic vision through various platforms that brought together political leaders, business, policy makers and relevant stakeholders from across the globe.
For the past five days, the Zimbabwean delegation engaged with a number of people at the forum.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Ambassador Fredrick Shava says the forum provided fertile ground for discussions regarding trade opportunities and challenges under the African Continental Free Trade Area.
Ambassador Shava said, ‘‘Our deliberations during the Forum of Friends of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) reinforced the critical importance of public-private partnerships to the successful implementation of the AfCFTA. The significant presence and active participation during this session of major global private sector players were most encouraging and reflected their growing awareness of and willingness to explore the myriad trade and investment opportunities which, even in these early stages of implementation, are arising across the continent. Explaining our own status of implementation in Zimbabwe, I urged the Forum – specifically the private sector participants – not to miss these opportunities and stressed, as always, that Zimbabwe is very much open for business.’’
He also spoke on the economic forum and developments in the mining sector.
‘‘The event brought together mining and energy industry governors, policy-makers and a host of international experts in the area of the energy transition. We exchanged views on the need to ensure the availability of strategic minerals essential to the successful scaling-up of clean energy technologies.
“The thrust of my contribution, which gained traction among a number of participants from the Global South, focused on the need to promote value-addition and beneficiation of energy- transition minerals which, of course, include lithium, platinum group minerals and rare-earth minerals – all of which are to be found in Zimbabwe and all of which are essential components in many of today’s rapidly growing clean energy technologies. It was clear that Zimbabwe’s policies on the exploitation of its minerals, including our recent policy announcement with regard to the export of raw lithium ore, resonated well with several participants – most especially our fellow African countries.’’
The Zimbabwean delegation to the World Economic Forum also held bilateral meetings with the Swiss government, the Netherlands and Mozambique and deliberated on a number of issues including enhanced Zimbabwe-Switzerland relations, multilateral cooperation in conflict resolution, update on the political, economic and legislative reforms underway in Zimbabwe, including those designed to improve the ease of doing business and ways to further cement trade and investment ties between Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
Davos among other platforms allows Zimbabwe to spearhead the country’s engagement and re-engagement agenda key to the achievement of Vision 2030 and the National Development Strategy One.