Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa is in China to meet senior economic and political leaders of the Asian economic giant. The trip is expected to build and follow up on the mega deals signed by President Mugabe during his visit to China last year.
It is highly expected that the deals will anchor domestic economic growth.
VP Mnangagwa has already taken the first step by meeting the vice minister of International Department Mr Xu Luyuping during which the two leaders pledged to increase momentum on the deals.
This is plausible considering the fundamental importance of the predominantly infrastructure deals to reviving the economy, with infrastructure probably one of the single most important factors to that end.
Zimbabwe and China share a rich history of politics and economic cooperation.
That China, the world’s second biggest economy, is committed to seeing through the mega deals is commendable.
The relevance of cordial relations with China must not be underestimated.
To that end, they should be seen in view of unstable relations with the West and the current state of the economy.
China has stood by Zimbabwe through all weather and its unwavering support is partly the reason the domestic economy has withstood the force of sanctions that decimated half its value.
It is only pleasing that some of the mega deals have already taken off the ground.
The country has seen significant development at Kariba South and Hwange 7 and 8 expansion.
Government has kept its eyes on the ball in recognition of the pivotal role that power, one of the main key economic enablers, plays to growth and development of the economy.
Further, it is commendable that VP Mnangagwa travelled with the Minister of Industry and Trade, Mike Bimha, Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises, and Cooperative Development, Sithembiso Nyoni, who we believe will reinforce the economic dimension to the trip.
This is because it is important to involve the ministers in the early stages of any deals. The ministers are responsible for economic policy implementation and need to be familiar with ongoing initiatives.
Cognisant of China’s own experience and challenges faced during its domestic policy driven transformation to become a leading global player in the realm of economics, it is gratifying to note that the trip also focuses on finding ways for the accelerated implementation of Zim-Asset.
The two countries’ commitment to growing cordial relations manifested in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for accelerated implementation of the premier economic blueprint, Zim-Asset.
The framework of understanding will cover specific sectors of the economy that include tested and effective policy for mining, tourism, infrastructure development and Special Economic Zones.
The accelerated implementation of Zim-Asset will see transformative economic development through focused interventions and judicious exploitation of the country’s abundant natural resources.
The success of Zim-Asset means sustainable development and growth of the economy for empowered society, including the mainstreaming of the grassroots in the domestic economy.
As such, having secured the support of China, Zimbabwe can only blame itself if it fails to transform, grow and develop the economy, learning from a willing partner it shares a similar past with.