Countries show high interest in Zimbabwe at Dubai Expo

18 Jan, 2022 - 00:01 0 Views
Countries show high interest in Zimbabwe at Dubai Expo Ambassador Mary Mubi

The Chronicle

Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
THE Zimbabwe pavilion at the ongoing Expo 2020 Dubai has received over 173 000 visitors from countries across the globe and Zimbabweans in the Diaspora with keen interest to do business in the country.

In a latest update, Expo 2020 Dubai commissioner general Ambassador Mary Mubi said the enquiries for trade and investment cut across all sectors including mining and agriculture.

“The Zimbabwe pavilion has received over 173 000 visitors as of 31 December 2021.

“Visitors who have shown keen interest in doing business in Zimbabwe countries include the United Arab Emirates (UAE), China, India, United Kingdom, United States of America, France, Russia, Germany, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Philippines, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Jordan, Bangladesh and Zimbabweans in Diaspora amongst others,” she said.

Amb Mubi said high level visits have been a combination of Zimbabweans and international visitors that included Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga, captains of industry, ministers, Ambassadors, senior government officials, celebrities and musicians.

International delegates included the Prince of Sharjah, renowned architects including John Knight, celebrities like Sebastian Summerfield, a Zimbabwean soccer star based in Switzerland, Country Commissioner Generals including Saudi Arabia, and African Union Commissioner General.

“In addition, media houses have also engaged the Commissioner General for interviews centred on Zimbabwe’s participation and vast opportunities.

“These amongst others include Dubai Media, Abu Dhabi media, Albayan newspaper, Emirates News Agency, Gulf Today and Expo News Services.”

In the tourism sector, Amb Mubi said there is particular interest on the majestic Victoria Falls and safari.

Visitors inquired on travel regulations, visas and permits issuance, peace and security in the country as well as the best time to visit Zimbabwe.

“Other areas of interest in tourism are the national parks scattered around the country and our heritage sites.

“Tourism, mining and agriculture investment opportunities have received a lot of inquiries.

“The bulk of inquiries registered on the self-service portal are on lithium, diamond and gold,” she said.

Potential investors have submitted their requests to the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (Zida) for facilitation in mining, solar and hydro power generation, agriculture imports of macadamia nuts, horticultural products, livestock products, setting up of green field companies in many sectors, and tourism, among others.

Amb Mubi said visitors were also requesting for invites during workshops and conferences especially for mining and agriculture.

Enquiries by potential visitors and investors have been on whether there are any direct flights to Zimbabwe, stability of the country as both a tourist and investment destination, rainfall patterns, and Internet connectivity, among others.

“There has also been an increased interest by Arab countries on safari in Zimbabwe and enquiries on how to get hunting permits.

“Tour operators mainly from UAE and Czech Republic are seeking tourism visitors basing on Zimbabwe being a good tourist destination and are making efforts to get more people to visit Zimbabwe.

“During the month of October to December the pavilion received 464 enquiries from interested visitors and potential investors.

“The pavilion is also famed because of popular artists and sport icons especially in cricket and rugby. Other areas of interest include history of the Mbira musical instrument,” she said.

On the Zimbabwe day, which is slated for March 14 this year, Amb Mubi said: “March 14, 2022 is the day that the whole of expo will be celebrating Zimbabwe and as such it is called the National or Honour day for Zimbabwe.

“Each country participant has such a dedicated day.

“This day will be graced by the UAE leadership and preparations for this special day are at advanced stages with highlights that include high level visit to the pavilion, an investment business conference, Diaspora engagement and live performances by Zimbabwean artists including Jah Prayzah.”

She said Smart Cities conference and Mining conference were successfully conducted in 2021, remaining on the calendar were the Tourism Investment Conference which was scheduled for 14 January 2022 but was affected by the travel restrictions effected due to the global Covid-19 outbreak.

Other events on the calendar include Trade and Investment Conference, Dzimbabwe Arts exhibition, Health and Wellness Conference Agribusiness Forum Tourism Investment Conference and Media Conference.

“These are coordinated by respective sectors, however, are subject to lifting of travel restrictions or may be done virtually.

“Inquiries are also related to products in the commercial spaces the retail store and the world market respectively.

“Herbal teas in particular, organic produce, handicrafts, sculptures, crotchety, and Binga baskets are on great demand.”

A number of videos for the expo showcasing historical sites tourism products investment opportunities are further amplifying the opportunities found in the country.

The facilitation of a video showcasing a virtual journey through the pavilion has further enhanced visitor interest in the pavilion.

“Whilst the Zimbabwe Pavilion is in the Opportunity Cluster we have a Zimbabwe project the “Hamba project” in the mobility pavilion.

“This project won the expo live prize and showcases how increased last mile mobility can impact on people’s livelihoods particularly, women.

“Lastly Zimbabwe participated in the expo project on the Traditional Children’s stories from around the world.

“The folktale of Tsuro/ Umvundla and Gudo/indwangu is included in the compendium of children’s stories,” said Amb Mubi. — @KazungaOliver

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