|November 21, 2003
Minister of Industry: "We Don't Need IMF"
A cabinet minister has trashed efforts by his colleagues to woo back the International Monetary Funds (IMF) and the World Bank, saying the country should instead seek to enhance its relationship with Asian countries and those in the Far East. "Zimbabwe should forget about the Bretton Woods institutions because we do not need them anymore," Samuel Mumbengegwi, the Minister of Industry and International Trade, told a business meeting to familiarise local businessmen on business opportunities that exist in China.
"The international community now refers to emerging Asian countries as well and does not only include the Western countries. The Chinese are happy with Zimbabwe and they are willing to support this country," said Mumbengegwi. Chris Mutsvangwa, Zimbabwe's Ambassador to China, added to Mumbengegwi's declaration: "China has more than US$400 billion in foreign currency reserves, which represent the second highest in the world after the United States and Zimbabwe can receive foreign direct investments from China if it works closely with that country." These statements followed calls by Finance and Economic Development Minister Herbert Murerwa to engage the IMF and the World Bank. Apart form Murerwa, also John Nkomo, the Minister of Special Affairs in the President's Office, has recently advised that Zimbabwe needed to re-engage the Bretton Woods institutions as well.
In the meantime it has been revealed that the rate of inflation has continued to escalate with the latest figure rising by 70,2 % points from 455,6 % in September to 525,8 % for last month. This effectively means that prices, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, rose by an average 455,6 % between October 2002 and October this year. This was attributed to the rise in food prices, which accounted for 190,2 percentage points while non-food items accounted for 335,6 percentage points. (Financial Gazette / The Herald, Harare)