Zim’s economy gets major boost

“In unveiling these initiatives, all in all amounting to US$490-million, it is the Reserve Bank’s minimum expectation that all economic players can now take up the challenge and get on with progressive economic enterprise,” central bank Governor Gideon Gono told reporters.

Most of the loans would be directed at the country’s agricultural sector, which has been hit hard by drought.

The Chinese facility announced on Tuesday would be the first major foreign loan extended to the southern African country after 6 years of recession, during which the economy contracted by a third and inflation soared to more than 1 000 percent.

Zimbabwe has embarked on a “look-east” policy to strengthen economic and political relations with Asian and Muslim countries after strained relations with the West, riled by the country’s land reforms.

International donors, including the International Monetary Fund, have stopped lending to Zimbabwe over policy differences, including the land reform.

“A lot more is in the offering … I am abundantly positive about the future of this country,” Gono said, adding that the Chinese loan was a culmination of a visit by Vice President Joyce Mujuru to the Asian country in June. ‘ Mining Weekly/ Own staff.

September 2006
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