Zim on London leg of re-engagement drive

09 Jul, 2019 - 09:07 0 Views
Zim on London leg of re-engagement drive

The Sunday Mail

Norman Muchemwa

Government plans to build on its improving relations with Britain this week when the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Dr Sibusiso Moyo visits London for the Global Conference for Media Freedom.

He will also take the opportunity to meet senior UK government officials.

The conference that will be hosted by the British and Canadian governments will run from July 10 to July 14.

United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Christina Alexandra Freeland will co-chair the conference.

Government officials, multilateral institutions, editors, journalists and the civil society will attend the conference aimed at promoting media freedom.

In a statement released to The Sunday Mail, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade said the visit is part of efforts to strengthen relations between Zimbabwe and the UK, as well as luring investors.

“In addition to attending the Conference, the Honourable Minister will also seek to engage with officials of Her Majesty’s Government with a view to further strengthen Zimbabwe’s bilateral relations with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

“Further, while in the British capital, the Minister will address a gathering of Westminster African Business Group Executives on business opportunities and the ease of doing business in Zimbabwe. This is in furtherance of the Ministry’s economic diplomacy policy to secure international financial support and foreign direct investments,” reads the statement.

Separately, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) will this week engage Zimbabweans living and working in the United Kingdom in a series of roadshows running from July 9 to 19 July in an effort to persuade them to invest back home.

Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister Prisca Mupfumira will lead a delegation that includes ZTA acting chief executive officer Mrs Rita Likukuma, Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) director-general Mr Fulton Mangwanya.

Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom Colonel Christian Katsande (Rtd) will also join the team.

The planned roadshows will be held in London, Glasgow, Liverpool, Huntingdon, Manchester and Birmingham.

Minister Mupfumira told The Sunday Mail that the roadshows are meant to reach out to the Diaspora.

“The main theme is to reach out to Zimbabweans and Diasporas of all backgrounds, religious communities, academics, media, tourism trade, tourism organisations, tourism associations, airlines, tourist boards, embassies, conservation organisations, youths, United Kingdom government and others engaged in economic development,” she said.

ZTA’s acting CEO Mrs Likukuma said the objective of the engagements is to promote tourism, exchanges and stimulating tourism strategic investments towards the Zimbabwe’s tourism sector.

 The United Kingdom remains a top European source market, with more than 72 029 visitors having visited the country last year.

Revenues from the tourism sector surpassed US$1 billion last year, a feat that was last realised in 1999.

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