Sikhulekelani Moyo, Business Reporter
THE Government is planning to establish a dry port in Bulawayo, a development expected to boost international trade.
A dry port is a city away from a sea where formalities for exports and imports through the ports are completed and shipments sent from there to sea ports for loading on ships where no more paper work is needed.
In line with the aspirations of the Second Republic of restoring Bulawayo’s industrial hub status, if a dry port is established, it means exporters and importers would have to enjoy economies of scale while reducing congestion at the ports of entry such as Beitbridge and Kazungula.
Responding to questions from the floor during an information session in Bulawayo this week to promote Walvis Bay Dry Port and the Zimbabwe Dry Port in Namibia as preferred logistics hub to the Zimbabwean market, Bulawayo Provincial Development Coordinator Mr Paul Nyoni said:
“The establishment of a dry port in Bulawayo is an issue which is still under consideration by Government and once the process is complete, that will be presented to Bulawayo Metropolitan and other stakeholders.”
In her welcome remarks, the Minister of State for Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Judith Ncube pointed out that that Zimbabwe has many trade centres which include Beitbridge, Mutare, Harare and Bulawayo thus the establishment of a dry port in Bulawayo would be of great importance.
If a dry port is established in Bulawayo, this will augur well with the Special Economic Zones status granted to the city by the Government.
“The City of Bulawayo has been granted the Special Economic Zone status making it one of the most competitive locations for investors,” she said.
Minister Ncube called upon investors from Zimbabwe, Namibia and the world at large to invest in the city as it is strategically located to facilitate trade in the Sadc region.
Meanwhile, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa during a post-Cabinet media briefing on Tuesday, said Zimbabwe’s participation at the on-going Expo 2020 Dubai in the United Arab Emirates has generated interest from investors around the world.
The investors, she said were keen to invest in different sectors of the economy.
Recently, Vice-President Dr Constantino Chiwenga led a high-powered delegation that included officials from Government and private sector at the Expo 2020 Dubai.
The expo, which began on October 1 is expected to end on March 31 next year.
Minister Mutsvangwa said Zimbabwe’s participation at the expo, saw VP Chiwenga presenting a report to Cabinet on the 6th Global Business Forum for Africa held last week.
“The forum provided a platform for building resilience, synergies and partnerships between Africa, the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf region, and presented an opportunity to discuss and share ideas on how the country can attract foreign direct investment.
“The Vice-President’s presentation was well received with influx of potential investors who requested for further engagements,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
Zimbabwe’s participation at the expo was to promote the country as an investment destination of choice, and trade with other countries and to attract tourists from the Gulf region.
The forum ran under the theme “Transformation through Trade: — Restore-Renew”.
Zimbabwe’s most lucrative sectors for investment include agriculture, mining, infrastructure development, manufacturing, tourism, Information Communication Technologies and financial services.