“Indian Millet Park To Be Set Up in Zimbabwe”: Indian Economic Trade Organization
The United Nations has declared next year to be the Year of Millets, and an Indian Millet Park has been proposed to be established as part of this initiative in Zimbabwe, Africa. President Murmu welcomed the delegation and stated that India and Zimbabwe have had relations for centuries.
President Murmu also emphasised the presence of approximately 9000 people of Indian origin, which she described as an important link between the peoples of the two countries. This was announced by President of India Droupadi Murmu during a meeting with Zimbabwe Speaker of Parliament Advocate Jacob Francis Nzwidamilimo Mudenda and four members of Parliament at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
The India-Zimbabwe Meeting was hosted in New Delhi by the Indian Economic Trade Organization (IETO) in collaboration with the Zimbabwe India Trade Council. IETO also committed to pledge support between the two nations for a robust partnership during the meeting, which was attended by many entrepreneurs from across the country.
Dr. Asif Iqbal, President of IETO, welcomed Zimbabwean Parliament Speaker Advocate Jacob Francis Nzwidamilimo. Mudenda was accompanied by four Parliamentarians (MP). President Murmu stated during her meeting with Zimbabwe’s Speaker that the ITEC and ICCR scholarships from India are popular among Zimbabweans. Furthermore, he stated that more efforts should be made to strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
Dr. Iqbal said, “There is a huge interest in India for Zimbabwe, a country with great scope for bilateral trading opportunities in Minerals, Industrial development, Pharma, Agriculture, and Mines. Recently, an Indian delegation from the IETO visited Harare and Bulawayo to participate in the Zimbabwe-India summit in 2022, which attracted many companies from around the world.” Bilateral trade is valued at around $200 million USD. Several Indian companies have invested close to US $500 million in there, and India has established a vocational training centre in addition to extending five lines of credit to Zimbabwe.
“India has all the opportunities to become Zimbabwe’s large trade partner as both countries share long-standing historical ties. We want to make Indian exports the main focus of the ties and increase export revenue, particularly for millets, next year,” Dr Iqbal said. According to him, there is growing interest in the African country, and Zimbabwe Ambassador Dr. Godfrey Majoni Chipare has expressed his full support for collaborations between the two countries’ businesses.
He described how Indians are aware of Zimbabwe and want to visit the beautiful country, particularly Victoria Falls, the world’s seventh wonder. Several MOUs were signed during the IETO delegation’s visit to Harare and Bulawayo in various sectors, including solar energy, tourism and hospitality, agroforestry, and pharmaceutical products. “There is a large market in India for Zimbabwean lithium, and there is potential for deeper bilateral trade in sectors such as gold, minerals, skill development, and affordable housing,” Dr Iqbal added. Vijay Khanduja, India’s High Commissioner in Namibia, has met with various business delegations in the last year and has offered full support and assistance to Indian businessmen.
The Indian Mission also organised B2B meetings, which resulted in many Indian and Zimbabwean companies collaborating. There are plans to open three more Zimbabwean trade desks next year, in Kolkata, Mumbai, and Gujarat. This will allow businesses to move more quickly through these trade desks and strengthen relationships between people in both countries.