April 2017 \ Interviews \ DIPLOMATIC INTERVIEW
“We want to attract more Indian companies to invest in Zimbabwe”

Zimbabwe, a picturesque, landlocked nation of about 14 million people in the southern part of Africa. Zimbabwe has 16 official languages with English, Shona and Ndebele being the most commonly used. The country’s trade ties with India can be traced back to the 14th century during the time of the Munhumutapa Kingdom. India supported Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle against British colonisation. Zimbabwe cricketing ties with India go back to over three decades, and it is not easy to forget the Tunbridge Wells Bridge match of World Cup 1983. H.E. Mr Maxwell Ranga, Ambassador of Zimbabwe to India speaks to India Empire Editor Sayantan Chakravarty...

India and Zimbabwe have significant historical ties. Do you think that at present we are witnessing the high point in relations between the two nations?

It is indeed true that the two countries do have significant historical ties which can be traced back to the era of the Munhumutapa Kingdom in the 14th century. Indian merchants then enjoyed strong links with Zimbabwe when they traded in textiles, minerals and metals. India also supported Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle against British colonialism by rendering us the much needed political, diplomatic and material support. Sadly, this relationship has not translated into desired economic and trade co-operation between Zimbabwe and India. As a Mission, we look forward to enhancing and strengthening trade and investment between our two countries.

Several high-level visits have taken place from Zimbabwe to India in the last 2-3 years. Have you witnessed a surge in momentum insofar as business, investment, and commerce are concerned?

There has been noted progress in trade and investment. A Line of Credit worth USD 87million for the Rehabilitation of the Bulawayo Thermal Power Station was signed in October 2015 on the sidelines of the India-Africa Forum Summit between Zimbabwe and Exim Bank of India, an Exim Bank Buyer’s Credit Facility of USD 49.92 million was clinched between Zimbabwe and M/s Ashok Leyland Ltd for the supply of vehicles for Zimbabwe’s tourism sector. Zimbabwe has also accessed a Buyer’s Credit Facility for USD13.03 million for the supply by BEML Ltd, India of mining equipment and blast hole and drill spare parts to Hwange Colliery Company. Last but not least, was the commissioning in 2016 of a joint venture USD 35 million Pepsi plant by an Indian company, Varun Beverages and a Zimbabwean partner in Harare.