Zimbabwe thanks South Africa for help

Johannesburg – Zimbabwe has expressed appreciation to South Africa's government for agricultural inputs made under a Southern African Development Community initiative.

During the third session of the Zimbabwe-South Africa joint commission held at the Victoria Falls from Saturday to Monday, the countries also discussed ways of supporting the recovery of Zimbabwe’s productive sectors.

This included the opening of lines of credit, export credit insurance, spatial development initiatives and trade facilitation measures, they said in a joint communique issued on Monday.

The Zimbabwean delegation to the talks was led by its Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, while South Africa’s was led by his counterpart Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

During the talks, the countries agreed to finalise negotiations on the bilateral investment promotion and protection agreement, the memorandum on economic co-operation and the avoidance of double taxation agreement, according to the communique.

They also agreed to enhance co-operation in the generation and distribution of power, with the establishment of a joint working committee to discuss technical details.

Accord was reached on the enhancement of production in the mining sector, the beneficiation of minerals, the finger-printing of precious metals and the harmonisation of mining policies to attract investment.

South Africa and Zimbabwe were furthermore in one mind on the need to finalise negotiations on a draft protocol on tourism and establish a bilateral tourism technical committee ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and with an eye on the Transfrontier Conservation Parks.

The countries exchanged views on collaborating to combat infectious diseases and other health management issues, labour migration, human settlement development and housing, public service administration, arts and culture, youth, gender and community development.

They also advanced discussions on long standing immigration matters between the two countries.

They further resolved to work together on Zimbabwe’s re-engagement with the international community and in the lobbying for the lifting of economic sanctions. – SAPA