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Belarus' cooperation prospects with Zimbabwe: From mineral resources to energy and logistics

Economy 14.03.2018 | 09:40
Viktor Sheiman
Viktor Sheiman

MINSK, 14 March (BelTA) – Belarus is determined to develop cooperation with Zimbabwe on a wide range of areas, Head of the Belarus President Property Management Directorate Viktor Sheiman said in an interview to Belarus 1 TV Channel on 13 March, BelTA informs.

Viktor Sheiman reported to head of state Alexander Lukashenko on the prospects of relations between Belarus and Zimbabwe. The Belarusian delegation recently visited this African country, where it held fruitful negotiations and signed bilateral documents. “We reached active cooperation in 2017. I expect that 2018 will be a breakthrough year. The country has elected new President, Emmerson Mnangagwa. He is showing interest in attracting investments and working with us. We are interested in the production of mineral resources, developing cooperation in agriculture, construction, transport, logistics, and energy. We discussed all these topics with the Zimbabwean authorities,” Viktor Sheiman said.

In his words, the president of Zimbabwe ordered a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers and they spent six hours discussing cooperation projects with the Belarusian delegation. After it, another meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers was held, where the parties took decisions and signed documents.

“We decided to set up a joint venture in the mining sector. We will work on a wide range of minerals. We were also given the green light to work with oil, geological exploration and oil production, and also exploration and production of gas, geological exploration of minerals, including gold, and platinum, and rare-earth metals,” Viktor Sheiman said.

Agriculture is another sphere of interest. A decision was taken to set up an enterprise to process meat and milk in Zimbabwe. “We will also produce beef, pork, poultry and vegetables in Zimbabwe. We will be engaged in the restoration of the irrigation system, and the construction of dams,” he said.

According to Viktor Sheiman, the irrigation systems in this country were built by the British about 30 years ago. Now they need to be restored.

Another area of ​​joint work is the energy sector. “The Zimbabwean authorities have a request to help build a power plant on solar panels. For us it will be an absolutely new project. Apart from building the plant, we will also deal with power distribution and control systems, build power grids,” Viktor Sheiman said.

There are also plans to develop a large transport company to handle cargo traffic both in Zimbabwe and beyond its borders. “We will work on transport and logistics in Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique. We will set up a joint major logistics center in Zimbabwe. It is very likely that we join the construction of railways and a motorway in Zimbabwe,” Viktor Sheiman said.

Belarus is also interested in developing cooperation in the construction sector. “We will be engaged in the housing, industrial, and road construction,” Viktor Sheiman added.

“This year, we have already signed contracts worth $58 million with Zimbabwe. I think that by the end of the year we will sign $100 million more contracts. Next year, we will raise the bar to $500 million and plan to reach no less than $1 billion by 2020,” he said.

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