Bots, Zim sign deal
Harare – Botswana and Zimbabwe have signed a Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (Bippa) paving way for the release of a $70 million line of credit. Bippa is an agreement establishing the terms and conditions for private investment by nationals and companies from countries involved. Speaking at the signing ceremony in Harare, Economic Planning and Investment Promotion minister, Tapiwa Mashakada, said the move served to cement the relations between the two countries. “The two countries have had fruitful trade relations. This will serve to boost interest from other quotas and the country will most likely see an influx of investment based on the fact that Botswana as the most stable African country has expressed confidence in Zimbabwe,” he said. The lines of credit should boost capacity utilisation in the medium term in the manufacturing sector from the current average of 53% to about 80%. The funds would mainly be availed to the country’s manufacturing sector that is in desperate need of recapitalisation. He said negotiations were at an advanced stage to sign Bippa’s with several other countries in the region and beyond including with Zambia, Namibia, South Korea, India and the Democratic Republic of Congo.