Zimbabwe expects double-digit growth next year: minister

"The economy will enjoy double-digit growth from 2010 onwards. Growth will remain strong for at least the next 10 years," Planning Minister Elton Mangoma said.

This year the government expects the economy to grow by four percent.

"We are mindful that the current global financial crisis imposes certain limitations, but it also presents opportunities including understanding and re-examinations of international trade, expanding regional African trade and diversification of the economy," Mangoma said.

Zimbabwe’s five-month-old unity government launched an economic recovery scheme in March aiming to revitalise an economy hammered by a decade of hyperinflation that has impoverished the nation and left half the population dependent on food aid.

The government is seeking 8.3 billion dollars over three years to revive the economy and pump into moribund public services, including schools and hospitals.

So far Zimbabwe has won pledges of over two billion dollars, mainly from African institutions and China.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai recently toured the United States and Europe to try to woo more support, but western countries say they want long-ruling President Robert Mugabe to make greater political reforms first.

The international investment conference opened Wednesday in hopes of attracting local and foreign investment. The meeting ends on Friday.