Sunday, June 23, 2019

US$20bn Gas Deal Boon for Zimbabwe
Joseph Madzimure and Sallomy Matare

ZIMBABWE is expected to benefit from the US$20 billion gas deal signed between the United States of America and Mozambique, President Mnangagwa has said. Briefing journalists on arrival from Mozambique, the President said US energy firm Anadarko Petroleum Corp approved a US$20 billion gas liquefaction and export terminal in Mozambique.

“We attended the launch of the USA and Mozambique gas project worth US$20 billion investment which they have agreed on and has been signed between the two countries,

“We believe that it will benefit Zimbabwe because when the project is through, the gas will be pumped from Mozambique and we are negotiating with Mozambique to have a pipeline come to Mutare.

“Perhaps we can also have a plant in Zimbabwe where we can process the gas into various chemicals like petroleum products as well as fertiliser,” said the President.

He commended the US-Africa Business Summit, describing it as a step in the right direction towards re-engagement and the development of Africa.

“With the issue of the US-Africa Business Summit which was the main conference, there was a panel of Heads of State and Government which discussed various issues relating to how Africa will benefit from business forum which we attended.

“I believe that Africa can benefit depending on the level of corporation between African member states and the USA.

“The difference between the US-Africa Business Summit with Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (Focac) is that, if you look at the Focac which is China Africa relations, that one has no restrictions, no ties to the disbursement of the US$60 billion, but with regard to this one the Americans look at how their interests are protected by a particular nation. That is the difference,” he added.

The President said the USA business community and the Zimbabwe delegation held a business forum dinner in a bid to exchange notes on areas of interest.

“We also had our own business forum dinner this evening well attended by more than 50 American business companies and I felt that it was a very warm exchange of views and exhibited interest to invest in Zimbabwe bearing fruit,” said the President.

Finance and Economic development minister Professor Mthuli Ncube hailed the visit to Mozambique as a success.

“Mozambique reaffirmed its commitment in supporting Zimbabwe on its power needs and has always done this in the past,” he said.

Despite the current power outages, the Minister said the Government is committed to ease power shortages in the country through bailing out the Zimbabwe Supply Authority (ZESA).

“We continue to support ZESA. The Government will release funds to them so that they will be able to meet their obligation,” he added.

He hailed the they have a fruitful discussion with the USA business community, who showed their commitment in investing the country.

“We also engaged with the business community before we came. We had a dinner with the business community telling them that Zimbabwe is open for business so we were able to explain to them the reforms we are undertaking to stabilise the economy. The investment opportunities available across all sectors such as mining, tourism, agriculture, infrastructure.

“As business people they questioned how they can get their money out of the business, so we told them that if they come in now they will get value for money because they are coming in cheaply and it’s all the way up from now on,” said the minister.

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