Britain eyes Zimbabwe energy sector investments

…and has taste for local blueberries

Britain is working to increase trade and investment with Zimbabwe to help drive economic growth, create jobs and reduce poverty in the Southern African country, a top official has said.

Andrew Mitchell, Minister of State Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, said in the House of Commons this Tuesday that the UK was seeking to open UK markets to Zimbabwe agriculture products while seeking to unlock renewable energy opportunities.

He was responding to Ruth Jones, the Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) who asked, the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs about plans to promote economic cooperation between the UK and Zimbabwe

Mitchell said: “Through our Economic Partnership Agreement, Zimbabwean companies have duty-free and quota-free access to the UK market, and we are particularly focused on supporting Zimbabwean exports of horticulture produce like blueberries and peas, increasing choices for UK consumers.

“We are also working to reduce barriers to UK investment in renewable energy and our technical assistance to strengthen the policy environment is unlocking new investment into independent solar power projects.”

New frontier… Zimbabwe’s blueberries are in demand in the UK

The UK and its former colony, Zimbabwe, have had a troubled relationship following the land reform programme in 2000 which corrected skewed historical land tenure system that saw only 6000 whites of mostly British stock controlling 80 percent of indigenous land.

Recent “reengagement” efforts, including allowing Zimbabwe to rejoin the Commonwealth that it left in 2003, have not borne much fruit.

 

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