Zimbabwe’s new president pursues stronger trade ties with neighbouring Namibia

Zimbabwe’s new president pursues stronger trade ties with neighbouring Namibia

Zimbabwe’s recently installed president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, will visit Namibia—his second overseas visit since taking power in November. Following 2017’s coup,

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Photo: CNN

Zimbabwe’s recently installed president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, will visit Namibia—his second overseas visit since taking power in November.

Following 2017’s coup, which resulted in long-time President Robert Mugabe’s forced resignation, Mr Mnangagwa needs to make a good impression to resuscitate Zimbabwe’s ailing economy.

This trip forms part of Mnangagwa’s charm offensive designed to attract greater foreign investment and improve regional and continental trade by briefing Zimbabwe’s neighbours on the status of domestic liberalisation. This is predicted to generate significant opportunities in the formal and informal sectors.

Namibia’s president has described his nation’s bilateral trade with Zimbabwe—valued at a measly $1.9 million in 2016—as unacceptable, and is determined to consider new areas of cooperation to revitalise bilateral trade. However, Namibia only ranks 20th on Zimbabwe’s list of trade partners and produces similar goods in mining and agriculture.

As such, the exact outcome of today’s talks remains uncertain.

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