Africa Moyo, Harare Bureau
VICE President Kembo Mohadi yesterday said Zimbabwe is a safe and secure tourism and investment destination, endowed with unique resources across all sectors of the economy.
He said this in his keynote address at the Zimbabwe-China Business Forum in Harare yesterday.
“Zimbabwe is just a gem, an awakening giant, a safe and secure tourism and investment destination,” said VP Mohadi.
“I would like to take this opportunity to reassure the Chinese delegates that Zimbabwe has unique resources across sectors and as Zimbabweans, we are of high intellect, resilient, and have a great work ethic only identical to us.
“These unique attributes point to our resourcefulness and thus a sure guarantee of our economic growth potential and a significant return to your investment.”
VP Mohadi’s remarks come at a time when investors are softening their stance on the country following a transformation of investment laws and efforts by Government to improve the ease of doing business environment.
Several laws have been enacted while others such as the Companies and Other Business Entities Bill, are at various stages of completion, so as to improve the investment climate.
On Thursday, President Mnangagwa told attendees at the commissioning of the $62 million smelter at Unki Mines in Shurugwi that Government will pull all stops to ensure more investors are attracted into the country.
High value investments such as the US$4,2 billion Karo Resources platinum project in Ngezi and the US$3 billion Darwendale platinum projects, are some of the investments attracted by the new dispensation and are at different stages of consummation.
VP Mohadi said the Zimbabwe China Business Forum was an opportunity to “establish strategic alliances and partnerships for our economic revival”.
“It is, therefore, prudent that each business representative here present, applies themselves fully in today’s interface for this purpose.
“Our meeting today (yesterday) is sure proof that indeed tourism cuts across sectors and is a precursor to investment. I would like to applaud the Chinese business delegates for believing in us by responding to our call for investment,” said VP Mohadi.
He said the Chinese businesspeople have not only immersed themselves in the wonders of destination Zimbabwe, but have also come with “keen interest” to explore possibilities of strategic alliances, partnerships and business opportunities, given their composition.
VP Mohadi said the expressions of interest by the Chinese businesspeople was a “true reflection” that tourism is a critical sector of the country’s economy and if strategically managed, could result in ripple effects across other sectors, resulting in growth of the overall national income.
He added that the business forum would go a long way in promoting investments across all sectors of the economy, as Government pushes for the attainment of an Upper Middle Income economy by 2030.
Zimbabwe’s tourism sector is on a growth trajectory with arrivals reaching almost 2,6 million last year, representing a 6 percent jump from the year earlier.
The growth in arrivals was spurred by a notable rise in arrivals from all source regions and most major markets except the Americas, and VP Mohadi believes if the trend continues, Zimbabwe would soon enjoy a significant share of the global market.
Focus areas to grow arrivals are destination promotion, international market representation, destination image transformation, destination branding, stakeholder’s strategic alliances, and digital marketing.
VP Mohadi praised the strategic partnership between Zimbabwe and Touchroad International Holdings, a Chinese travel and tourism company that brought a 343-member Chinese delegation into the country on Thursday.
He said the partnership with Touchroad, which will bring about 300 Chinese tourists monthly, has come at the “right time for us to increase our market presence and destination visibility in the Chinese market”.
A robust image for destination Zimbabwe will ensure the country increases international tourists, exports and foreign direct investment, and enhance economic growth and in turn create decent jobs.