Zimbabwe and China have signed three agreements worth US$213 million which will go towards, among other projects, the refurbishment of the Robert Mugabe Mugabe International International Airport and the construction of the new Parliament building.
The facility which will is payable in 20 years, (including seven years grace period) at an interest rate of 2% per annum will help in the construction of the 650 seater Parliament building, expansion of the Robert Mugabe International Airport and the setting up of a High Performance Computing Centre.
The facility will be administered through the Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim Bank).
According to Finance and Economic Planning Development Minister, Patrick Chinamasa, US$165 million of the loan will go towards the refurbishment of the Robert Mugabe International Airport, which upon completion, will see more tourist arrivals in the country.
“The project entails the expansion of the terminal building, rehabilitation of the runaway and installation of the communication system, refurbishment of the fire station and new satellite station among other works,” said Chinamasa.
“The loan agreement will also be used to construct an HPC center phase two at the University of Zimbabwe and other projects that can be determined by the government.”
The three agreements according to Chinamasa, will cement the economic ties between the two nations and enhance infrastructural development and will also help in employment creation, although he could not shed light on how many jobs will be created.
Said Chinamasa “Zimbabwe has in the past received support targeting various projects in education, agriculture, energy, health , transport and communication. this emanates from the time we attained our independence where we elevated the level of cooperation between our countries.”
He revealed that a team of Chinese contractors will be tasked with seeing the completion of the projects in two years.
Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Huang Pin said his government will continue to support the Zimbabwean government in its quest for social and economic revival.