Zim, UK enter new trade era

03 May, 2024 - 08:05 0 Views
Zim, UK enter new trade era Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga (left) chats with British Ambassador to Zimbabwe Pete Vowles (right) during a courtesy call in Harare yesterday. - Picture: Charles Muchakagara.

The Sunday News

Harare Bureau 

The British government yesterday expressed keen interest in normalising relations with Zimbabwe so that the two countries can relate more through exploring trade and investment opportunities. 

Following a courtesy call on Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga at his Munhumutapa Offices yesterday, Britain’s Ambassador, Pete Vowles, said the meeting anchored its discussions on ways to strengthen trade and investment partnerships between the two countries.

At the meeting, Ambassador Vowles said he also took time with Dr Chiwenga to reflect on the 64th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) that ended last week in Bulawayo. 

“It was an honour to meet the Vice President as we had met in passing last week at the ZITF. This was an opportunity to talk about the trade and investment partnerships between the UK and Zimbabwe, and reflect on the ZIFT,” Ambassador Vowles told the media.

Zimbabwe and Britain, he said, are now looking forward to the future.

Relations between Zimbabwe and Britain were strained at the turn of the millennium when the former embarked on the deracialisation of land ownership through a historic land reform programme that empowered over 350 000 families, much to the chagrin of the British, who imposed economic sanctions on Harare.

But since the inception of the Second Republic, under President Mnangagwa, with a foreign policy thrust premised on engagement and re-engagement, previously fractured Harare-London relations have been mending.

Added Ambassador Vowles: “We are serious about improving relations between our two countries on both sides.”

The British envoy took into cognisance the importance of trade and investment partnerships to maximise existing interactions to improve economic cooperation. 

“There is a range of issues, but also in the future trade arrangements, we want to continue to maximise particularly so that Zimbabwe has access to British markets, duty-free and quota-free and that is important to improve trade and economic relations.

“We continue to be a significant development partner and we really want to focus on the trade and investment so that we continue to connect the two peoples,” he said.

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