HARARE, 30 January (BelTA) – It is necessary to establish a foothold on the markets of the South African region, Belarusian Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa with concurrent accreditation to Zimbabwe Aleksandr Sidoruk told journalists in the capital of Zimbabwe, Harare, on the eve of the state visit of Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko, BelTA has learned.
The diplomat recalled that several years ago Zimbabwe embarked on a dramatic upgrade of its agricultural sector. And in this regard Belarus' best practices and equipment came in useful. “In 2020, we started supplying our equipment as part of the Zimbabwean agricultural mechanization program. And we have been doing this successfully for three years now. A fairly large number of tractors and other agricultural machinery have been delivered,” he noted. “We do not just sell equipment. An enterprise has been created here that does not only sell, but also provides maintenance services to the equipment. Spare parts are supplied, local farmers are trained to operate and maintain these machines. In other words, we are establishing presence on this market in multiple ways. And in this regard, we are quite competitive here,” the diplomat noted.
“We have already supplied equipment worth tens of millions of dollars as part of the first phase of the mechanization program. Last year, we actually completed the second phase of this program. It was already agreed that we will participate in the third phase. Again, this is about tens of millions of dollars. About half of the equipment purchased in the first stages was Belarusian,” said Aleksandr Sidoruk.
In addition to the agricultural sector, Zimbabwe is also actively developing its mining industry. The first BelAZ trucks were delivered more than five years ago and are still successfully operated in local quarries. “Now we are in talks to increase the supply of equipment,” the diplomat added.
In general, the ambassador is very optimistic about Belarus' prospects in the markets of African countries. “We need Africa. These markets hold a lot of promise for us. All world leaders, including the USA, China, Russia, are literally fighting for a presence in the South African region. This speaks for itself. We need to establish a serious foothold that will help us build a long-standing presence here. That is what we are doing in Zimbabwe,” Aleksandr Sidoruk emphasized.