Monday, October 30, 2006

Zimbabwe Government Says New Economic Policy Bears Fruit

Zimbabwean vice president says Look East policy bearing fruit

Zimbabwean Vice President Joseph Msika has said despite the usual skepticism from some quarters, the government's dynamic Look East policy is bearing fruit, The Sunday News reported.

Speaking during the commissioning of new machinery and the official opening of Chaba Mine, Msika called upon the country to "diversify from the traditional Western markets and Look East instead."

He said the economy is set for a major boom following the increase in coal production at Hwange Colliery which will have a positive downstream effect on the country's energy, agricultural and manufacturing sectors.

Coal output at the colliery has doubled in the past two months following the opening of the new opencast mine at Chaba and the acquisition of state-of-the-art machinery worth 6.2 million U.S. dollars from a Chinese company, China North Industries Corporation (NORINCO).

"I am sure that most of us are aware that our economy is presently ravaged because of illegal sanctions imposed on us by our erstwhile colonial masters, Britain and her allies. As we strive to maintain our sovereignty as a democratically elected Government, and to economically emancipate our nation, I am one of those who is proud to be associated with our friends from China and other friendly countries from the East who stood by us during our protracted struggle for Independence, and are still standing by us today and sharing in our vision to socially and economically emancipate ourselves," he said.

Coal output from the opencast mine, which became operational in February this year, increased from 500 tons a day to 1,000 tons per day while the underground mine, which used to produce 800 tons a day, now has a daily output of 1,600 tons.

Msika said Hwange Colliery Company played a pivotal role in the country's economic development and the acquisition of the machinery could not have come at a more appropriate time than when the government was implementing the National Economic Development Priority Program.

The vice president said the Look East policy has seen other State enterprises such as the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority Holdings, the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company and the National Railways of Zimbabwe acquiring equipment for their respective recapitalization programs.

Source: Xinhua

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