Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
THERE is strong political will by Government to adopt and implement the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) initiative in a mutually beneficial co-operation between Zimbabwe and South Africa, Zimbabwe Special Economic Zones Authority (Zimseza) chief executive officer, Mr Edwin Kondo, has said.
In a statement, Mr Kondo said Zimbabwe and South Africa were jointly working together to establish the Harare-Beitbridge-Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone Corridor.
“Following the resolutions of the 3rd session of the bi-national commission between Zimbabwe and South Africa held in March 2019, an eight-member delegation from the Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa was in the country to discuss strategies on expanding trade and investment for the two countries,” he said.
“The discussion centred on the development of the Harare-Beitbridge-Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone Corridor. The discussion proposed the development of an MoU between various implementing agencies/ institutions from both countries. The first draft is expected not later than December 13, 2019.”
Mr Kondo said their discussion also centred on the formation of a joint technical team comprising key implementing agencies or institutions, development of value chains in key sectors including mining, energy, and logistics, among others underpinned by availability of vast resources within the proposed corridor.
The resources include minerals (chrome, lithium, manganese, coal and rare earth minerals) and water (Limpopo River). The discussion, he said, also prioritised infrastructure development in the form of road networks, rail, airports, dry ports as well as bonded warehouses.
“Government has a strong political will on the Special Economic Zones initiative hence the need for action in terms of a mutually beneficial co-operation under the SA-Zim Bi-national Commission Framework,” he said.
In a related mission to strengthen the call to promote the development and economic integration between Zimbabwe and South Africa, a Zimbabwean delegation led by the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs in Manicaland, Dr Ellen Gwaradzimba, last month visited Coega Development Corporation (Pty) Ltd in the neighbouring country.
The visit was a benchmarking exercise that has seen Coega expressing interest over the establishment and operation of a SEZ in Manicaland province. Dr Gwaradzimba was quoted as saying: “What was key to the two-day study visit was exploring measures on how to establish a leading special economic zone in Manicaland”.
Coega Development Corporation programme director Dr Siyabonga Simayi added that their discussion with Government officials from Manicaland was a step towards realising goals set to improve and sustain the two countries’ development.
“We look forward to working with the delegation from Zimbabwe, and further expand our expertise to the continent,” said Dr Simayi. — @okazunga