Zimbabwe seeks new regional markets

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Political Editor
ZIMBABWE through ZimTrade is set to showcase the country’s trade and investment opportunities as well as seek new business markets at the ongoing SADC Council of Ministers in Maputo, Mozambique, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade spokesperson, Mrs Constance Chemwayi, has said.

The Council of Ministers from 16 SADC member states will today look at the status of the implementation of decisions of its previous meetings and also prepare for region’s Heads of States and Government Extraordinary Summit that will be held tomorrow to tackle the issue of insurgency in the northern parts of Mozambique.

Acting Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Professor Amon Murwira is leading Zimbabwe’s delegation to the Extraordinary SADC Council of Ministers.

In a statement, Mrs Chemwayi said: “The SADC Council of Ministers will be held under strict Covid-19 protocols and in line with the decision of the SADC leaders that adopted a hybrid approach of limited face-to-face participation and the use of virtual platforms. Most of the delegates to the meeting will, therefore, participate virtually.”

The ministers’ meeting was preceded by the standing committee of senior officials meeting that was held yesterday.

“The honourable Minister is also expected to participate in the SADC business forum that has been organised by the Republic of Mozambique from June 22 to 23, 2021. Zimb0abwe, through ZimTrade, will be showcasing the country’s trade and investment opportunities as well as seeking new business markets and partnerships in the region,” reads the statement.

Amid a surge in Covid-19 infections, the ministers will get an update on the pandemic situation in the region, the status of implementation of decisions of previous councils and summits, including the review of SADC’s institutional arrangements.

The meeting will also look at disaster risk management response in the region, progress on the recruitment of the next SADC Executive Secretary and Deputy Executive Secretary, regional integration; and continental integration and international cooperation issues.

“Zimbabwe’s effective participation in the above-mentioned meetings is key to the realisation of the country’s foreign policy objectives, particularly relating to the region’s development and integration agenda,” said Mrs Chemwayi.

In May, at the last meeting of the SADC Double Troika in Mozambique to tackle insurgency in that country, regional leaders resolved to convene an extraordinary summit by June 20 to discuss the evolving security situation in the region.

In a communiqué at the end of the Summit, the SADC secretariat said: “Summit received a report of the chairperson of the Organ on the security situation in Cabo Delgado Province, northern part of Mozambique and reaffirmed its solidarity with the Government and people of the Republic of Mozambique, and its continued efforts

in addressing terrorism and ensuring lasting peace and security in Mozambique, which is also a threat to the SADC region.

“Summit noted the progress in finding a lasting solution to terrorism and acts of violent extremism in Cabo Delgado Province and considered the proposed regional response in support of the Republic of Mozambique.

“Summit agreed to convene an extraordinary Summit by June 20, 2021 to be held in the Republic of Mozambique.”

SADC has already committed to a sub-regional response to deal with the deteriorating security situation in Mozambique, which has the potential of threatening regional peace and security. Herald

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