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Zimbabwe economic turnaround possible, says EU ambassador

by Staff reporter
24 Jan 2020 at 01:08hrs | Views
EUROPEAN Union (EU) Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Timo Olkkonen has said the country has all the ingredients to achieve an economic rebound, adding that the international investment climate is also favourable to the nation.

Mr Olkkonen said this during a Press briefing with journalists on Wednesday evening in Bulawayo. He said while the country is facing challenges, there is hope for an economic turnaround due to the country's natural resources and human capital.

"I think the basis for a rebound of the Zimbabwean economy is there. I spent a huge chunk of my career in Africa and I see the potential of the human resources. Zimbabwe is a skilled and well educated nation. When you think of all the raw materials that you have in the country, when you think about the infrastructure; although it is facing challenges, the agriculture potential that is clearly there. Imagine places like Bulawayo, you have all this agricultural potential in terms of cattle, you have gold, you have coal, you have these tourism opportunities around. So, I think the ingredients for a turnaround are clearly there," said Mr Olkkonen.

He said Zimbabwe can also tap into global investment opportunities. Mr Olkkonen said the country should address some structural issues to attract foreign investors.

"I think there is also a factor in the global economy that will play in favour of Zimbabwe which is investors are looking for profits. The interest rates in the Euro zone are negative, you put your money in the bank, you are not getting more but you are getting minus from your bank. That is the same thing in the global economy at large. There is capital that is looking for profit but it is looking for profit in tolerable risks," Mr Olkkonen.

On the political front, he said the EU will not impose solutions for the country as Zimbabweans need to have a consensus on what needs to be done to address their challenges.

He said the nation needs to dialogue and come up with solutions that will improve livelihoods.

"We have been in favour of having a comprehensive dialogue going on. But exactly how, we would not prescribe. We will not tell Zimbabwe, not to Government, not to the wider Zimbabwean societies how they should be doing that. We hope that it will be comprehensive, that everyone would be taken aboard and would be addressing some of the key questions that are of concern for Zimbabweans as it is now. The format that they will be taking, I will prefer not to comment because that would be too prescriptive from our side," he said.

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Source - chronicle