Story by Owen Mandovha
BELARUS is now a new market for Zimbabwean-grown cotton lint in one of the deals that has left captains of industry impressed by the political relations that are generating immense business opportunities for the country.
This comes as the Belarusian Business Delegation wraps up its high-profile three-day visit to Zimbabwe.
In a post-mortem of the high-profile visit by the Belarusian Business Delegation, the president of the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) Mr Mike Kamungeremu described the engagements over the last two days as the grand opening of business opportunities for local industry.
He described the contingent of top Belarusian entrepreneurs as a different band of business partners who have already set up various investments in the country.
“It is quite impressive how over the short period that we have engaged the Belarusians, they have demonstrated their business capacity and acumen,” he said.
“One company, Afritrade, has already set up a plant for agricultural equipment in Zimbabwe and is employing over 38 local people. It has also set up a workshop and plans to build more plants in several towns and cities. I implore the local business people not to miss this big opening of opportunities because it is not only about political relations between the two countries but there are business opportunities that are also arising.”
Belarus is already importing cotton lint from Zimbabwe and the investor was at COTTCO to further explore more export trade opportunities for the commodity.
“The Belarusians made it clear that they want our lint and we are looking at how we are going to increase our tonnage to around 3 000 tonnes of exports. We are trying to align our cycle to their business operations and it is a very prospective business deal,” said Mr Munyaradzi Chikasha, Cottco’s accounting officer.
Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Sekai Nzenza says her ministry will further support cotton lint exports and a host of other products.
“The cotton lint sector is one which was the major highlight of our discussions with my Belarusian counterpart and the onus is left on how we can increase exports. There are also other various products that we have agreed to look at how we can make initial shipments to increase trade between our two countries,” she said.
These tangible trade deals confirm how the two governments are ensuring that their special political relations translate into immediate economic benefits for the people of Zimbabwe and Belarus.