(Last Updated on August 16, 2013 by Editor)
Consultations … the Zimbabwe delegation meets with the Chinese deputy president Xi Jinping.
DEPUTY Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara has backed calls to include the Chinese Renminbi among the country’s basket of currencies.
Professor Mutambara made the suggestion during a visit to China where he attended the World Economic Forum, the Shangahi World Expo as well as meetings of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAG) Forum.
He also held meetings with the Chinese Deputy President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Wen Jia Bao.
Professor Mutambara backed recent calls by other leaders of the coalition government to include the Chinese Renminbi among the foreign currencies being used in the country.
Vice President Joyce Mujur recently said use of the Chinese currency could help ease Zimbabwe’s liquidity constraints.
Trade between Zimbabwe and China has increased over the years as the country actively pursued the so-called Look East policy after falling out with the West.
The coalition government abandoned the Zimbabwe dollar in 2009, replacing it with more stable currencies such as the Botswana Pula, the South African Rand and the US dollar.
However, the country continues to battle liquidity constraints as the economy’s export sectors take longer to recover from a decade-long decline while international support remains limited.
Meanwhile, Professor Mutambara also urged Chinese investors to give Zimbabwe a look-in saying the coalition government had managed to bring about economic and political stability since assuming office.
“(We) take our challenges as opportunities and not insurmountable problems,” he said.
He said attractive “win-win” opportunities existed in the country’s mining, infrastructure, agriculture, financial services as well as manufacturing sectors.
Professor Mutambara urged Chinese investors to look beyond resources and consider “diversification … into professional services, financial services and beneficiation”.
He said developing countries such as Zimbabwe could learn important lessons from China’s economic success.
These included the importance of growing domestic demand and driving indigenous entrepreneurship.
The Chinese economic model showed the significance of “focus, discipline, self-respect, national cohesion, self belief, history of achievements”, he added.
“(There is no need for) regrets (over the) past, without Mao there will be no Deng Xioping (Chinese reformist leader who led the country to a market economy)!”