South Africa and Zim vow to expand economic ties

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is received by Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa at the Bi-National Commission in Source: Harare. PHOTO: Siyabulela Duda / GCIS

PRETORIA, March 12 (ANA) - South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and his counterpart, Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa, concluded the Bi-National Commission (BNC) in Harare on Tuesday, with calls for the expansion of trade and economic ties between the two southern African neighbouring countries.

“The two sides emphasised the importance of expanding trade and investment to drive the strategic engagement forward. In this regard, the heads of state directed their finance and trade ministers to work together to achieve these goals,” according to a joint communique released today.

The Zimbabwe authorities emphasised key initiatives it had implemented to improve the ease of doing business in the country and further informed the summit on its efforts to simplify and rationalise investment rules with a view to attracting foreign direct investment into the once booming economy.

“The relevant ministries agreed to consider options for expanding the standing Facility Arrangement between the respective central banks. Other financing options beyond this are also being explored, for example a facility from South African private banks to the Zimbabwe private sector and guaranteed by the South African government, with an appropriate counter-guarantee from the Zimbabwe government,” said the communique.

At the BNC, Ramaphosa and Mnangagwa “unequivocally called for the removal of sanctions on Zimbabwe whose adverse effects have been far-reaching across the political and socio-economic spectrums”.

Ramaphosa extended an invitation for Mnangwagwa to attend the fourth session of the BNC to be hosted by South Africa next year.

- African News Agency (ANA)

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