US$100m for local industry

30 Jun, 2019 - 00:06 0 Views
US$100m for local industry

The Sunday Mail

Enacy Mapakame
Business Reporter

The Africa Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) will this year release US$100 million for local industry.

In the past two decades, the Afreximbank has extended US$8 billion to Zimbabwe for various economic activities ranging from agriculture, mining, manufacturing and infrastructure development.

The latest facility, which will likely be ready in the last quarter of this year, is meant to capacitate local industry.

Afreximbank trade finance manager Mr Victor Mashoko told The Sunday Mail Business that the bank is still working on the terms and conditions of the facility.

He said the latest facility comes at a time when local industry needs support in retooling, accessing raw materials and increasing production.

Estimates from industry have indicated that the country needs at least US$2 billion to buy new industrial equipment.

“We are now looking at the lessons learnt from our previous programmes. This time, we are looking at US$100 million.

“Since inception in 1993, we have injected US$8 billion into Zimbabwe’s economy. This is in terms of cumulative disbursements in various sectors,” Mr Mashoko told The Sunday Mail Business in an interview last week at the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce annual general congress in Victoria Falls.

The facility will also assist budding small to medium enterprises, in recognition of their immense contribution in building the economy.

However, the sector has been struggling to access funds to boost their businesses. Fortunately, the latest developments have seen finances starting to trickle in.

Over the years, the Afreximbank has continued to support Zimbabwe in its pursuit for development.

Mr Mashoko said the bank will continue doing so despite Zimbabwe’s perceived risk.

“The challenge was the issue of security and the country’s repayment capacity. We are looking at the lessons learnt so far and coming up with sustainable solutions.

“Most of our facilities support the need for trade. We support Zimbabwe and will continue to do so to help the economy. Zimbabwe is a member country and we will continue to support its trade facilities,” said Mr Mashoko.

In the past, the country has also accessed the Zimbabwe Economic Trade Facility, which was worth US$70 million. Treasury poured in US$25 million of this amount. This was a syndicated facility between the Afreximbank and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

“The facility came up from a country programme that was earmarked for re-tooling industry. It was a syndicated facility between the Afreximbank and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.

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