November 5, 2004

Accord to promote trade signed with Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe and Malawi have signed a bilateral agreement that promotes trade between the two countries and create a conductive trading environment known as the Reciprocal Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (RIPPA). The agreement is a milestone in cementing trade and investment relations between the two countries. "The rationale behind entering into such an accord on a bilateral basis is to guarantee the protection of investments made by Malawi nationals living in Zimbabwe. Such arrangements give confidence to investors and help promote inflows of investment into Zimbabwe and Malawi," said Zimbabwe’s Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Herbert Murerwa. He added that foreign investment was critical to the economic development of any country as it provided new technology, improved production methods, inflows of foreign currency, access to international markets, joint venture partnerships and helped in employment creation. The agreement also provides for full remittance of all payments connected with an investment in line with the laws and regulations of the contracting parties.
Malawi Minister of Trade and Development, Eunice Kazembe, said that the agreement was critical for common objectives in the economic front that are being pursued by both countries. "The agreements will facilitate trade between the two countries especially cross boarder trading, hence the private sector in the two countries should fully utilise the opportunities that the two governments have opened. Furthermore, the private sector should not point fingers at the governments if they fail to utilise this chance as the legal and all important frameworks have been set and what's left is initiative from the sector," she added. The agreement was mooted in Geneva last year and was only awaiting the two governments' approval and logistical frameworks. (The Herald, Harare)

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