President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday invited businesses from the United Arab Emirates to invest in Zimbabwe, particularly in value addition of its natural resources.
He is here attending the fifth edition of the Global Business Forum together with other African Heads of states.
He told the investors and UAE Emirates government officials in an interview with Sangu Delle, chairman of the Golden Palm Investments of Ghana that opportunities were abundant to value add Zimbabwe’s minerals and agricultural produces, currently exported in their raw form.
“I would like to see Zimbabwe participating at the same level with neighbouring countries. For the past 20 years, we have remained behind in terms of infrastructure. By opening Zimbabwe, I would want to leap frog the modernisation and industrialisation of Zimbabwe by attracting technology, skills and global capital to come and assist us to leap frog and catch up with the rest of developed nations in the region as well as in the world who are also developing like us.
“This is why I am here. I believe here we have people who have the capacity say in textiles, capacity in diamonds, we have lots of diamonds but we have no technology and capital to process the diamonds. We sell them raw. We have a lot of gold, it’s the same. We have lithium which I understand is very important for the future. We have platinum and so on,” he said.
He added: “With all these resources, they will remain underground as long as we do not have investment coming from outside to come and assist us extract these resources for the purposes of bettering the lives of our people; for the purposes of modernising our economy, growing our economy, creating better conditions for our people.”
The President said his priority number one was to revive the economy.
“This is the vision we have but it can only be realised if we get embraced by the international community, if we ourselves put policies that attract investments by the international community.
“Zimbabwe is open for business in agriculture, mining and energy. I know that among the people who are here; some have skills and technology in renewable energy like solar. So I am here to say Zimbabwe is open, come and do business in those areas I spoke about in the agro-business and beneficiation of our products.
“We grow tobacco, we have no capacity to process it to cigarettes; we sell it raw.” said the President.
He said his administration has implemented a raft of political, economic and social reforms all aimed at improving living conditions in the country.