Zimbabwe, Iran explore investment opportunities

12 Nov, 2022 - 00:11 0 Views
Zimbabwe, Iran explore investment opportunities First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa and her Zimbabwean delegation take down notes during a meeting with Iranian business executives from both public and private sectors in Tehran, Iran

The Chronicle

Tendai Rupapa in Tehran, Iran

ZIMBABWE and Iran are on the verge of sealing massive deals in various economic sectors and teams from both sides this week spent time sharing notes on areas of potential investment.

The Zimbabwean delegation led by First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa, who is here at the invitation of her Iranian counterpart, gave chief executive officers of Iranian firms in-depth information on the country’s needs and the projected benefits.

Charmed by the presentations, the firms expressed willingness to pay a reciprocal visit to Zimbabwe and see for themselves, the opportunities.

Earlier on, the First Lady held talks with the Minister of Co-operatives, Labour and Social Welfare who is also the head of Iran-Zimbabwe joint economic commission, His Excellency Sowlat Mortazavi, who described Zimbabwe as a friend and strategic ally of Iran.

During the meeting with the business community, director-general of International Affairs in the ministry Mr Hamed Forouzan, who was leading his country’s delegation, called for companies on both sides to enhance co-operation.

First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa expresses her views during her meeting with Iranian Minister of Co-operatives, Labour and Social Welfare in Tehran, Iran

He said their companies were itching to do business with their Zimbabwean counterparts.

“We would like very much to have a relationship between all these Iranian companies and their counterparts in Zimbabwe,” he said.

In her remarks, Dr Mnangagwa expressed appreciation for being invited to Iran and expressed gratitude to her hosts for the hospitality.

She highlighted agriculture, mining, tourism, energy and the health sectors as potential areas of cooperation.

“I want to thank the First Family of this country for extending their invitation to me as the First Lady of Zimbabwe which I humbly received. This is very good for communication and the workmanship between the two countries. Countries that are under sanctions, like Zimbabwe and Iran, need to work together and strengthen their relationship to overcome the effects of the embargo.

“This meeting is very crucial to the two countries because we want to strengthen and also help each other in terms of bringing in some equipment that may be needed more especially in our country Zimbabwe. We all need to take this meeting seriously as it will be a stepping stone of how to come into Zimbabwe as businesspeople. There are opportunities for co-operation in agriculture, mining, tourism, energy and the health sectors. We welcome you to Zimbabwe as it is open for business,” she said.

The chief executive officer of Tamin Pharmaceutical Holdings, which is the largest pharmaceutical holding in Iran and exports to over 50 countries on five continents, gave an overview of his firm and expressed their readiness and willingness to cooperate with Zimbabwe in the supply and/ or production of pharmaceutical products.

The company is active in all areas of the human and veterinary drug supply chain.
It uses modern innovative approaches and technologies in the production of its drugs and most of its drugs,

“There are 28 companies in this holding and 10 000 workforce. We produce large pharmaceutical finished products and raw materials. Currently we have 240 new launched products. There is great potential for Iran and Zimbabwe to co-operate.

We will supply medicine and technical transfer in traditional medicine since we have all the supply chain. We are ready to provide Zimbabwe with whatever you want and all the knowledge you need to produce pharmaceutical products using your own resources. You just give us the road map, method and modality of the co-operation,” said Dr Mansour Nekoinia.

The Chief Executive informed that his company had experience in developing drugs to meet local demand and its capacity to develop drugs and medicines using local raw materials was partly driven by shortages emanating from the negative impact of illegal sanctions.

Chairman of Tamin Petroleum and Petrochemical Investment Company (TAPPICO), Mr Ahmad Asl Rocknabadi, said his company was in the field of oil, gas and petrochemicals which produces a diverse portfolio of petrochemical products and all kinds of refinery products.

First Lady Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa analyses statistics during a meeting with Iranian business executives from both public and private sectors in Tehran, Iran. Pictures: John Manzongo

“In oil, we are the best in bitumen supplies in Africa. Our company is also active in the field of rubber and cellulose industry. One of our strategies is developing co-operation and joint investment with domestic and international markets. We are ready to co-operate with the refinery industry in Zimbabwe. We can refurbish the Zimbabwean refinery plant or set up a new plant. We can deliver our expertise and know-how in the field to Zimbabwe,” he said.

Tappico is one of the most profitable companies in the top 10 companies in Iran’s capital market.
Dr Mahdavi the CEO of Mine Holdings said it was crucial for Iran to enter in the African continent.

“Zimbabwe could be a good framework to work with. We would be pleased if you allow us to work with you. Designate the path for us to co-operate. We can come to Zimbabwe for meetings and map the way forward,” he said.

Similar sentiments were echoed by Tamin General Industries Investment Company CEO Mohsen Mohammadi.

His company has three sub-companies in the field of agriculture and husbandry listed on the country’s stock exchange

“We have also invested in agriculture and husbandry sectors. Our company is one of the best producers of raw milk in Iran. We are willing to work with Zimbabwe and transfer our knowledge, skills and technology,” he said.

After presentations by the Iranian business community, Amai Mnangagwa then gave the floor to the Zimbabwean experts to give in-depth information on opportunities in Zimbabwe.

Mrs Mantisa Mazoyo from the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development under the department of agricultural engineering mechanisation, made a colourful presentation on opportunities that are available in Zimbabwe for agricultural mechanisation.

“As a country we highly rely on importation of agricultural machinery, so partnership and collaboration with Iran in establishing a production plant for agricultural machinery in Zimbabwe will be very profitable,” she said.

“Ranging from small-scale to the large-scale farmers, these farmers have different needs in terms of agricultural mechanisation. So, the establishment of a factory or a plant for agricultural mechanisation in the country will help us to address each and every farmer’s needs and requirements and to have a consistent supply of spare parts for the machinery supplied.”

Mrs Mazoyo highlighted the need for partnerships in manufacturing, given that Zimbabwe was awash with raw materials.

“There is need for partnerships in local manufacturing,” she said. “As a country, there is abundance of raw materials for the production of agricultural machinery which ranges from iron. We have abundance of steel and other minerals which can be used in production of agricultural machinery.

“I will also elaborate on the need for partnership and co-operation in wood and paper industry. As a country we have abundance of forestry and we need rehabilitation of some of our wood and paper industries which are available in Zimbabwe.”

In response, the Iranians expressed willingness to partner Zimbabwe in the areas mentioned.

“We have the capacity to share our experience and evaluate the business with the wood and paper industries in Zimbabwe so that we meet your requirements. Even on agricultural equipment, we have the capacity to meet the requirements,” a representative of one of the firms said.

Ms Chipo Zishiri from the same ministry under the department of agricultural and rural development advisory services and a coordinator for women in agriculture said she appreciated the presence of the First Lady who had been very exemplary in agriculture where she was running thriving farming projects which other women were also emulating.

“Our mother, the First Lady has been demonstrating a lot to women in crop and livestock production and as a ministry we commend her for that,” she said. “We have great potential in the production of field crops and the production of cash crops. Zimbabwe requires crops for food security and it has the potential to export the field crops in the region, basically to countries like Botswana and Namibia which have adverse climatic conditions.

“Crops such as maize, traditional grains, legumes, pulses, have been going down because of climate change and variability because of shortages of fertilisers, because of pests and diseases and also shortages of liming material.

“There is potential in terms of partnership between Zimbabwe and Iran in terms of fertiliser companies, especially the ammonium types which are suitable for top dressing.

There is great potential in terms of establishment of chemical companies for the herbicides and pesticides, great potential in terms of provision of drought tolerant crops like traditional crops which are high-yielding and also establishment of companies that can provide us with liquid liming material because the current scenario is that we have granular type of liming material and low pH has been the contributory factor for low yields.”

Ms Zishiri also spoke on the vast prospects in tobacco production.

“We produce the best tobacco in the country with high flavour and aroma basically the flu-cured tobacco and there is great opportunity for the two countries to partner in that area. There is potential in cotton production.

Cotton is used in textile industries and I understand Iran is good in textile so there is great potential in cotton production. There is potential in dairy, in beef production. Mortalities have been going up because of diseases, so we can have companies with animal health drugs,” she said.

A representative of the Iranians said they would assist with vaccines for livestock to keep diseases at bay and ensure optimum production potential.

The First Lady weighed in highlighting how through her Angel of Hope Foundation was assisting women in the farming field especially former ladies of the night so that they become self-sufficient.

The representatives of the Iranians said they would also want to work with her foundation so as to empower women.

Zimbabwe’s potential in mining and areas of partnerships were highlighted by Mr Malcolm Mazemo from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development.

“Zimbabwe is a host to a wide range of minerals, there is an abundance of minerals in Zimbabwe. We have gold, we have chrome, we have platinum group metals,” he said. “The platinum group metals are hosted in the great dyke which is 550km long.

There is lithium and iron ore, gemstones in terms of aqua marine, diamonds, emeralds, timberline, coal which can also be processed from coal to coke.

“Then from coke to liquid and then we can produce electricity and all the energy. We have industrial minerals in terms of clay, tike, corundum. We hope to cooperate with the petrochemical industry in this particular area.”

The Iranian delegation said it was planning to visit Zimbabwe to further the discussions.

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