Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Correspondent
THE Government yesterday reiterated its recommitment towards clearing the country’s international debt while normalising relations with key global players.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Development Cde Patrick Chinamasa said this while presenting the projected $5,1 billion 2018 National Budget in Parliament yesterday.
Cde Chinamasa said President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s inaugural acceptance speech set the tone for the country’s reengagement with the international world.
“The 2018 budget benefits from the commitment made by his Excellency the President in particular the commitment that Zimbabwe desires to get back into the global economy, we desire to own our complete obligations as well as observe regional and international protocols. On debt clearance strategy, Zimbabwe will intensify and accelerate the reengagement process under the LIMA debt clearance strategy. A deliberate strategy to engage USA, the European Union and the United Kingdom at the highest political level will be pursued in order to open doors for international reengagement,” he said.
Cde Chinamasa said normalising international political relations will promote the country’s developmental and socio-economic transformation.
He said President Mnangagwa also emphasised that through engaging normalising relations the country desires to clear its debt.
“Our quest towards a ‘New Economic Order’ will also require complementary support from development partners, access to external borrowings, as well as resource inflows into the economy. Hence, pursuing the re-engagement process with international financial institutions, in particular the World Bank and the African Development Bank, and the European Investment Bank, will be enhanced in order to unlock external new financing required by productive sectors,” he said.
Cde Chinamasa said the isolation that the country had endured from international financial institutions had negatively affected Zimbabwe’s trade relations; hence the new economic trajectory will be good for the country. “The loss of long standing correspondent banking relationships, or “de-risking” by leading global banks was also beginning to pose significant risks to the country’s efforts to finance international trade and access to foreign lines of credit,” he said.
“In this context, strengthening of re-engagement initiatives and processes with multi-lateral financial institutions and cooperating partners minimises the continuation of de-risking, reduce country risk and improve financial relations. — @nqotshili