FROM EIR DAILY ALERT
Eurasian Tour Yields Major Results for Zimbabwean President Mnangagwa
Jan. 24, 2019 (EIRNS)—Despite the destabilization now taking place in Zimbabwe, President Emmerson Mnangagwa secured some real economic results from his recent tour of Eurasia that took him to Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Belarus, according to the Harare daily Herald.
On arrival at Harare’s airport on Jan. 21, President Mnangagwa said he has returned with “a bagful of projects.”
In Russia, the “bagful” included several agreements, among them a commitment by VTB Bank (Foreign Trade Bank) to help support Zimbabwe’s debt restructuring and the financing of new projects; Russia’s Great Dyke Investments committed $267 million to immediately start production-related works on their platinum claims in Darwendale; Russia’s Alrosa, the world’s greatest diamond producer, agreed to start core operations in Zimbabwe; Russia’s Uralchem agreed to build a fertilizer and agro-chemical manufacturing plant to supply Zimbabwe and the Southern African region; the establishment of a dealership for the sale of agricultural equipment to service both Zimbabwe and the region; as well as another deal to supply 30,000 tons of wheat.
In Belarus, Zimbabwe signed eight agreements. The most interesting was a grand rail and road scheme aimed at making Zimbabwe a regional transport and logistics hub that would include linking the Indian and Atlantic Oceans across Southern Africa and through Zimbabwe. The hub could be built under a tripartite arrangement involving Zimbabwe, Belarus and China. A joint venture would be registered for the project, and would involve several Southern African countries. Belarus also agreed to invest in irrigation systems, residential housing, roads which could involve China as well. They also discussed projects for the joint production and processing of beef, poultry, pork, dairy, horticulture, fruits, wheat, and maize.
Azerbaijan agreed to explore cooperation in the oil and gas sector and investments by Azerbaijan’s sovereign investment funds, particularly in mining and infrastructure development.
In Kazakhstan, discussions centered on cooperation in agriculture, mining, transport and logistics, industrial manufacturing and infrastructure development, among others.